WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: The Matthew Flinders Anglican College team won their category in the state finals of the Tournament of Minds.
WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: The Matthew Flinders Anglican College team won their category in the state finals of the Tournament of Minds. Patrick Woods

Meet the Coast's talented young minds

YOU are in the school building when you detect something major has happened outside.

Your fear is what if outside is worse than where you are, so you must send one of your team members out to investigate, but you need to ensure their safety so they can report back to you.

You need to design and create a suit that can combat a variety of possible environmental dangers, taking into consideration air quality, temperature, radiation and any other dangers your explorer may encounter.

All you have is a box of materials and three hours to design, create and present your ideas and why they work in the realm of science and technology.

This was the challenge a team of 10-12-year-olds from Matthew Flinders Anglican College conquered in the state finals to secure their position in the Tournament of Minds Australasian Pacific finals.

The team of seven created a body suit from plastic bags and eloquently explained to the panel of judges what the suit was made out of, how that would protect their explorer and what the explorer had found on the outside.

There was plenty of whooping and cheering from the youngsters as they were announced the winners of their category and presented with trophies and medals.

They are now in preparation mode for the next tier, which will see them pitted against the best of the best from the rest of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Bangladesh on the Gold Coast from October 13-16.

Matthew Flinders assistant teacher Leanne Craven said the accompanying language and literature team was ecstatic for their TOM school mates, who have become the school's third science and technology team to make it to the Australasian Pacific finals.

"They were all pretty calm and really well prepared," she said.

"They went in a little bit excited and nervous, but they also knew they would be able to get through it."

Ms Craven said programs like TOM were important for encouraging divergent and critical thinking and teamwork.

"Kids get to work with other kids they never would have hung out in the playground with and when they go to compete, they meet so many like-minded people," she said.

"It's also not just for the gifted and talented kids - sometimes the kids who can find school challenging can be the most creative."

TOM Queensland director Kath Underhill said the competitors had "stepped it up a notch" from last month's regional finals.

"The competition was definitely intensified," she said.

"Only eight teams progress through and three of them were from the Sunshine Coast."

The Matthew Flinders team will be joined by St Andrew's Anglican College secondary teams in the science and technology and social sciences divisions.



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