The future leaders of Australia put their strategic thinking and problem solving skills to the test on September 13when Griffith University hosted the Tournament of Minds (TOM) state finals.

More than 700 school-aged students from across Queensland gathered at Nathan Campus to compete in a series of stimulating challenges designed to mirror the qualities that employers will be looking for from employees in the future.

Griffith Masters of Education student and TOM Vice-Director Evette Tapinos said the skills that TOM provides students will be invaluable for the future.

“More and more big companies are looking for employees who can think outside the box,”,” Ms Tapinos, who is also a Brisbane primary school teacher, said.

TOM2“Research shows that those who can problem solve and achieve well academically will perform well in the workforce.

“This also sets them up for life at university in order to effectively manage their time.”

TOM is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to “challenge the world” and inspire youths to think laterally and develop strong communication skills in order to prepare them for success beyond their school years.

TOM1Students in 54 teams from 28 schools across the State competed in challenges in the categories of Applied Technology, Language Literature, Maths Engineering and Social Sciences.

Ms Tapinos said she had been involved in TOM since she was 13 and said the experience gained has been instrumental in her success as a school teacher.

Competing schools are from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Yeppoon in Centre Queensland and as far as Mossman in North Queensland.