Mind Challenges

Mind Challenges

Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12

Young women have the ability and the need to think laterally and critically in many different situations.

The basic premise of Mind Challenges at MLC School is to allow interested girls to explore and develop these thinking skills in fun and creative ways. In teams, girls have the opportunity take part in a number of competitions from Year 4 onwards.

Programs
Chess Program (Year 3 to Year 5)

Topics will be presented such as specific openings (e.g. Italian Opening, Fried Liver Attack, King’s Gambit) and how to spot blunders from your opponent and take advantage of them. Endgame technique will be studied, which will make it easier for players to simplify and to convert a winning position.

Each student enrolled in any of the chess programs will be also given access to Chess Squad Academy, a safe online playing platform, and contains many features such as practicing drills, solving puzzles, playing the computer on increasing difficulty levels, and playing live timed matches against other students.

Coordinator: Connie Tsokas
Places available: Open to all interested students
Time: Monday 12.45pm–1.30pm
Location: Year 3 Studio
Cost: $12 per child per lesson (Term by term commitment, parents invoiced directly by Sydney Academy of Chess)
Enrolment: Contact Sydney Academy of Chess or call 02 9745 1170 

Coding (Year 3 to Year 6)

Coding enrichment sessions support students as they learn important skills in understanding computational thinking and creating with code. Girls will learn the building blocks of programming as they create fun and exciting projects in a range of platforms and languages.

Coordinator: Marie Cassar
Places available: 20
Time: Year 6: Term 1, Monday lunchtime
Year 5: Term 2, Monday lunchtime Year 4: Term 3, Monday lunchtime
Year 3: Term 4, Monday lunchtime
Location: Junior School STEM Lab
Cost: $5 per student per term
Enrolment: An expression of interest form will be sent to all families at the beginning of the relevant term

da Vinci Club (Year 4 to Year 6)

da Vinci Club is an academic activity in which students engage in challenging questions and activities linked to a variety of disciplines including Drama, Art, Mathematics, Coding and Poetry. The Club also acts as preparation and training for those students who are interested in participating in the da Vinci Decathlon.

Coordinator: Jan Falls
Time: Year 5 and Year 6: Term 1 and Term 2, Friday 7.30am–8.15am
Year 4 and Year 5: Term 4, Friday 7.30am–8.15am
Location: Year 5 Studio
Enrolment: Contact the coordinator

da Vinci Decathlon (Year 5 and Year 6)

The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. Students compete in Year groups in teams of eight across 10 disciplines including Engineering, Mathematics, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science and English. The competition places a particular emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity. The competition is hosted in Sydney and takes place over three days in May.

Selection

All interested students are invited to complete a student nomination form. The da Vinci Decathlon coordinator will select final team members and selection will be based on their responses in this form, their team building skills and strengths in da Vinci Decathlon disciplines.

Expectations

Girls who are selected to take part in the da Vinci Decathlon must attend the NSW competition day in May. Should their team be successful at this day they must also be prepared to attend the National competition day on a weekend in June. Girls are also invited to attend da Vinci Club. Whilst not a pre-requisite for selection to the da Vinci Decathlon teams, da Vinci Club gives students the opportunity to engage in activities linked to the da Vinci Decathlon disciplines and is an excellent way of preparing for the competition.

Coordinator: Jan Falls
Places available: 16 (eight per year group)
Time: Friday 7.30am–8.15am
Location: Year 5 Studio
Enrolment: Complete a student nomination form

da Vinci Decathlon (Year 7 to Year 11)

Selection

All interested students are invited to attend the training and preparation sessions during Term 2 and complete a student nomination form. Final team members will be selected based on their responses in this form, their commitment to attending the training and preparation sessions, their team building skills and strengths in da Vinci Decathlon disciplines.

Expectations

Girls who are selected to take part in the da Vinci Decathlon must attend all training sessions and the NSW competition day in May. Should their team be successful at this day they must also be prepared to attend the National competition day on a weekend in June.

Coordinator: Jan Falls
Places available: 40 (eight per Year group)
Time: Training and preparation: One lunchtime a week, negotiated between staff and students
Competition: Approximately Term 2, Week 5
Location: Contact the coordinator
Enrolment: Join the da Vinci Decathlon Schoology page and watch out for announcements regarding the first training session
Website: davincidecathlon.com

Mandarin Class (Year 3 to Year 6)

Our weekly Mandarin classes offer an opportunity for language acquisition for new students to the language, as well as a chance for extension for those students who already have a background in Chinese and may speak it at home. The sessions will run for 45 minutes.

 

The Beginners class for Year 3 to Year 6 is aimed at students who have little or no knowledge of the language and will focus on the key skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Through immersion in activities such as songs, stories, role plays and culture-related tasks, they will come to understand the basics of the language that will inspire a love of learning Chinese.

 

There are two Extension classes, one for Year 3 and Year 4 and the other for Year 5 and Year 6. This program is designed for students who have a background in Chinese and who may be used to using the language at home. It will focus on extending their skills in listening, reading and speaking, with a special focus on learning to write Chinese characters.

 

Coordinators: Phil Jiang
Places available: Open to all interested students
Time: Year 3 to Year 5 Beginners Mandarin: Monday 3.30pm–4.15pm
Year 3 and Year 6 Extension Mandarin: Wednesday 3.30pm–4.15pm
Year 6 Mandarin: Thursday 3.30pm–4.15pm
Location: To be advised
Cost: These classes will run with no charge to parents for Term 1 and Term 2 2021. From Term 3 2021 the classes will cost a $125 per term.
Enrolment: Contact the coordinator

Enrol in Mandarin Classes (Year 3 to Year 6)

RoboCup Junior Australia (Year 5 and Year 6)

A select team will compete in the RoboCup Junior Australia (RCJA) OnStage Challenge. RCJA OnStage engages girls in researching, designing, building, programming and decorating one or more robots to perform a dance to music.

Participation in, and preparation for, RCJA OnStage provides opportunities for collaborative activities including group problem-solving, investigating and decision-making. The selection for the team will be conducted via a written application. Girls applying for the team must commit to regular attendance to afternoon team meetings, a holiday workshop in the Term 2 break, attendance at the competition held in August/September, and additional practice sessions in the lead up to the competition.

 

Coordinators: Marie Cassar and Bede Schofield
Places available: 5 girls per Year group
Time: Term 1 to Term 3
Year 5: Thursday 3.20pm–4.30pm
Year 6: Tuesday 3.20pm–4.30pm
Location: Junior School STEM Lab
Enrolment: Selected team. Contact the coordinator for details
Web: robocupjunior.org.au

Robotics (Year 2 to Year 5)

Girls involved in Robotics work as young scientists and engineers, immersing themselves in creative and engaging activities. Each session promotes creative problem solving, and teamwork skills. Students will have fun learning to control a variety of robotic systems including Bee Bots, LEGO WeDo 2.0, Sphero and LEGO EV3 Mindstorms.

Please note: Students from the 2021 group will be selected for RoboCup Junior in 2022.

 

Coordinators: Marie Cassar and Bede Schofield
Places available: 20
Time: Year 5: Term 1, Wednesday lunchtime
Year 4: Term 4, Wednesday lunchtime
Year 3: Term 2, Wednesday lunchtime
Year 2: Term 3, Wednesday lunchtime
Location: Junior School STEM Lab
Enrolment: An expression of interest form will be sent to all families at the beginning of the relevant term

The Tinkerbelles (Pre-Kindergarten to Year 2)

The Tinkerbelles embodies the fundamental concepts behind the STEM pedagogy: an integrated approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Through investigation and experimentation with small projects, the students bring these concepts together to design and create in order to problem-solve and generate new ideas. The club encourages new perspectives on everyday materials and technologies, fostering inquisitiveness around how and why our world works the way it does.

 

Coordinator: Bede Schofield
Places available: 12
Time: Year 2: Term 1, Friday lunchtime
Year 1: Term 2, Friday lunchtime
Kindergarten: Term 3, Friday lunchtime
Pre-Kindergarten: Term 4, Friday lunchtime
Location: Junior School STEM Lab
Enrolment:An expression of interest form will be sent to all families at the beginning of the relevant term

Tournament of Minds (Year 5 to Year 10)

Tournament of Minds (ToM) is a team problem-solving program that requires students to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:

    • STEM
    • Language Literature
    • The Arts
    • Social Sciences


Teams work together for six weeks (without assistance), developing a creative solution to a Long Term Challenge, which they then present to a panel of judges on Tournament Day. The teams must also participate in an unseen Spontaneous Challenge on Tournament Day.

ToM looks beyond academic achievement and understands that the pursuit of excellence knows no boundaries. It offers students a unique, total experience, providing challenge and growth through its six-week problem solving structure. The Tournament process provides a platform for excellence and equips participants with strategies and skills which will support future success.


Year 5 and Year 6

SELECTION

Interested students will be invited to submit a self-nomination form and teams will be selected based on their responses to this form.

EXPECTATIONS

Team members must be available to commit to the team for the entire challenge and to attend every practice, as well as the tournament event, which takes place over a  weekend.

Coordinator: Jan Falls
Places available: 28 (seven per team)
Time and Location: Training and preparation: One lunchtime a week, negotiated between staff and students
Competition: Approx. Term 3, Week 6
Enrolment: Join the Tournament of Minds Schoology group and watch out for announcements calling for expressions of interest mid way through Term 2.
Web: www.tom.edu.au/NSW/NSW-Home.aspx