2020 Mind Games

  • Mind Games:  Mind Games has two goals:  to promote intellectual skills through friendly competition and to build the self-confidence of the contestants.  There are no losers in Mind Games!  Everyone selected to participate is a winner.  The object of the games is for the students to compete skillfully and cooperate as a team to do their best.   

     General Rules for Elementary School Competitions

     1.   Mind Games is a competition designed to encourage creative thinking, problem solving, and cooperative effort among our elementary students.  The competition is open to all students, grades 2-5, in each elementary school.  Separate competitions will be held for grades 2-3 and grades 4-5.

     2.   Each elementary school is entitled to enter one team in 2-3 Mind Games and one in 4-5 Mind Games.  The school teams should consist of no more than seven members.  Five students take part in each event (P3, Productive Thinking, Logic and Construction). This allows the team to take advantage of the different strengths of its students.   

     3.   Each school should select a coach for each Mind Games team.  The coach may be a parent, teacher, other staff member, or community volunteer.  SPACE teachers may not serve as coaches or assist teams as they plan and develop the challenges and run the competition.

     4.  Criteria for selection for Mind Games team members may include classroom performance, problem solving skills, wide general knowledge, and test performance.  It is suggested that teams be made up of students from both grades for the 2/3 and the 4/5 competitions to develop experienced team members for the next year’s events.

     Mind Games is divided into four separate competitions:

    I.  P3:  Puzzles, Pieces, and Possibilities: The P3 Competition - Puzzles, Pieces and Possibilities - replaced the General Knowledge competition. P3 contains a menagerie of puzzles and prompts to use critical thinking skills.  Students will be given several puzzles to solve which may include a tiling, tessellation or tangram transformation where instructions, clues and logical thinking will lead to a prescribed new shape or coverage of an area. 

    II. Productive Thinking: In this competition, students will be asked to use their productive thinking skills to think of many, varied, unusual responses to a question.  Students will be given a creative, open-ended problem and 15 minutes to respond. 

    III. Logic: This competition calls upon the student's skill in completing analogies and sequences and in solving deductive reasoning problems.  There will be three different problems to solve.   Logic Problem 1 will consist of 10 sequences; Logic Problem 2 will consist of 10 analogies; Logic Problems 3 will consist of matrix or other types of logic problems. 

    IV. Construction:  Students will be assigned an engineering task that will require them to solve a problem. The four criteria for awarding points for construction are as follows:  follows:

    1.  Completion of construction.
    2.  Performance - construction does what it is required to do.
    3.  Durability - construction passes the stress test specified in the problem.
    4.  Finally, be sure your team practices using a time limit.