By Najibu Mulema

On Saturday, International School of Uganda (ISU) held the highly anticipated Tournament of Minds 2017 where 105 students, making up 15 teams, from six international schools in Uganda took part.

The tournament was the first of its kind in East Africa; its roots originate from Australia.

Schools which took part in the Tournament include; ISU, Rainbow, GEMS, KISU, Acacia and Ambrosoli. The event took place at ISU Campus in Lubowa Estate along Entebbe road.

Creative students from Junior and Senior school were put on task to overcome both social science and engineering mathematics challenges. The first course of challenge, teams were given six weeks to rehearse in order to come up with exceptional works on the allocated subject. During the big show, teams were given 10 minutes to showcase what they had prepared for and present the product of their ideas.

The second course of challenge was spontaneous; teams were tasked on the tournament day to come up with the required presentation while on stage. On this course teams were given four minutes to fulfill their task.

Out of the 15 teams, judges needed only four winning teams; two from social sciences (one from junior and another one from senior school) and two from engineering mathematics (one from junior, another one from senior school). The four winning teams will have the opportunity to participate in finals in Australia, where they will be compete with critical thinkers alike.

According to Uganda Tournament of Minds Director, Deborah Bradshaw, both junior and senior schools underwent the same challenges and the tournament was aimed at promoting enrichment programmes for exceptional learners

“This is the first time such a tournament is taking place in East Africa and is aimed at promoting talented children who are able to analyze and think critically,” Bradshaw stated.

She further said the organizing committee is planning to expand to East Africa as well as include local schools in Uganda to take part in tournament though they still have a challenge of the different academic year between international schools and local schools.

One of the teams performing

One of the tournament judges, Lucy Elliot said the tournament helps students to develop the ability to undertake challenges whereby the involved parties undertake research themselves, think analytically and put daily skills into use.

Judge Lucy Elliot(Left) and Instructional Coordinator Ann White(Right)


Some of the strict criteria which were based on by the judges include; understanding of the concept, originality of ideas, accuracy, and participation of team among others.

By the end of the day, ISU proved that it’s a class above ordinary when it managed to come up with three winning teams.

In Junior school, GEMS Brainiacs emerged winner in Social Sciences, ISU Golden Mathemagicians won in Engineering Mathematics.

On the other hand, in Senior, ISU Leopardchauns walked away as winners in social sciences whereas ISU team Phidias emerged winner in Engineering Mathematics.

Some of the winning students who received their certificates of merit

ISU is the oldest international school in Uganda founded in 1967 as a not for profit school and it’s owned by Parents and Teachers Association.