MCS students win prestigious Tournament of the Minds

A group of primary school student of the Mountain Cambridge School won the world-renowned national Tournament of Minds competition that was held virtually this year. It was the first time that the school took part in this prestigious competition.

The winning team is in the back from left, Talita Landsberg (drama coach), Stuart Tyldesley, Jayden White, Isabella da Silva, and in front Oratile Komape, Carmi Landsberg, Danai Mawoko and Lerato Molobye.

The competition, which is based in Australia, annually draws entries from schools all over the world. Mountain Cambridge School took part in die art section of the competition and was crowned the primary school winners.

Tournament of Minds (TOM) is an international problem-solving competition designed to give students the opportunity to participate as teams of seven and provide innovative and diverse solutions to stimulating open-ended challenges. Aimed at students from both primary and secondary levels, team members work together for six weeks – without assistance from teachers or parents – to develop creative ways to communicate solutions to a panel of judges, working within pre-determined parameters and taking into account complex criteria.

“Our challenge was discovering something from the past that is the key to the future. The group set out to find the answer to future humanity,” said drama coach Talita Landsberg.

The student’s presentation had to include singing, dancing and acting and it was based on the Famous Andre Lloyd Webber musical, Cats.

The group identified plastic as the item discovered, the story evolved as follows: One of the ‘Plasticle Cats,’ is in his 9th and final life. His owner was Alexander Flemming who made plastic and who knew it would take over the world. At the same time, he genetically mutated an animal that could eat and digest plastic and created an egg. The cat calls on the other alley cats to find the egg and destroy plastic once and for all.

The team busy making props for their production.

“The whole project was completely student-driven. I was only allowed to facilitate. They even had to build the props themselves. They did an amazing job and received higher marks than the world standard. This is a remarkable accomplishment,” Landsberg said. “They had to use facts combined with fiction, and complete a 40-page questionnaire.

“We are thrilled with the outcome and it is a big honour to win the competition. We are looking forward to taking part in the international competition next year.”