St Agnes’ Catholic Primary School Matraville students have achieved honours in their first foray into problem-solving competition Tournament of Minds.

In the tournament’s NSW regional final, two teams of St Agnes’ students maintained creativity and focus in two of the four six-week challenges: STEM and the Arts.

The participating students were in Years 4, 5 and 6. 


Each challenge asks teams to think flexibly and to create and collaborate without input from their teachers, parents or peers to solve a problem. 

In light of COVID-19, they presented their work via two videos after working remotely for the duration of the challenge.

“I learned so much from my STEM task, which made me love science even more” – Olivia Clausen

View St Agnes’ Tournament of Minds STEM challenge entry


St Agnes’ STEM team created three unique objects meant to communicate to other life forms in space, after researching the voyager golden records and pioneer plaques sent on spacecraft in the 1970s to seek extraterrestrial life. 

The Arts team created an animation to teach students about Art History, and presented their view on whether technology should be used to teach the arts in future.

“It was exhilarating and exciting to see the students engage in this challenge with enthusiasm, persistence and creativity,” said Catherine Millazzo, one of the school’s challenge facilitators.

“We are so proud of them and happy to see them receive public recognition for their effort and achievement”- Catherine Millazzo

“The challenges guide students through a hierarchy of thinking, moving from knowing through to creating and evaluating,” Ms Millazzo said. 

“This helped them to develop strong learning behaviours that could support them throughout their schooling years and into the workforce in future.”

View St Agnes’ Tournament of Minds arts challenge entry


Year 6 students Olivia and Charlotte Clausen took part in the STEM and Arts challenges, respectively.

“I learned so much from my STEM task, which made me love science even more,” Olivia said.

“What I liked about the challenge was working in a group.”

“We came together at every Zoom meeting, talking and helping each other to finish our task” – Olivia Clausen

Charlotte lent her drama skills to the Arts challenge and video.

“I loved making the animations and doing some voiceovers,” she said. “I am really proud of all our hard work and would love to do it again.”


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