Academic Talent Development Program Updates

Dr Sarah Bond, ATD Coordinator

The Academic Talent Development Centre is going to be a busy place in 2023! In 2022, 139 students took part in over 20 different programs, competitions and activities. Some highlights from 2022 include boys from TSS achieving at the highest levels throughout QLD and Nationally:

  • Formula One STEM: QLD State Finals 1st Place – Professional Class, Cadet Primary Class, 2nd Place – Development Class
  • Future Problem Solving: Australian National Finalists
  • Tournament of Minds QLD: Honours/2nd Place, Senior Language Literature
  • Ethics Olympiad: 1st Place/Gold Medal –  QLD Middle School Ethics Olympiad
  • daVinci Decathlon (QLD): 1st Place – Year 10 Legacy category
  • World Scholar’s Cup (Gold Coast): Commendations – Debating and Collaborative Writing
  • Bond University Model UN: Best Diplomacy Award, Secretary General’s Delegation Award
  • Australian Brain Bee Challenge: 2nd Place, Team Challenge
  • Australian Problem Solving Mathematics (APSMO): Top 10% in Australia (2 students)
  • Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee: National Finalist
  • Year 12 Honours Presentations/Workshops: Physics & Time Travel, International Development, Songwriting 101

Our ATD programs have seen participation increase greatly in 2022. For example, participation in daVinci Decathlon grew from 16 students in 2021 to 38 students in 2022, while participation in the F1 STEM program has grown from 7 students in 2021 to 24 students in 2022. TSS is fast becoming a regional hub for academic enrichment programs, hosting the inter-school TSS Model United Nations (TSS MUN 2022) and the Tournament of Minds (TOM) regional and branch/state final competitions. In 2023, we look forward to continuing to host TOM and hosting the F1 STEM Gold Coast regional final.

Invitations to participate in our ATD programs arise from various avenues- many programs, such as ASX, TSS MUN (in collaboration with the HASS department), Reader’s Cup, TOM and the F1 STEM cadet class programs are open to ALL boys who are working well in their academic classes and who would like to take part in academic enrichment opportunities in a fun and collaborative environment, with students who have like abilities and interests.

Some programs may be offered specifically as an extension opportunity based on students’ demonstrated abilities, as they are offered through the advanced/accelerated English or Maths courses, such as the Australian Problem Solving Mathematics Olympiad, Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee and the Future Problem Solving program.

Other enrichment programs may be offered by invitation to interested students based on teacher recommendation and their overall academic performance, such as the ACER Global Challenge, ICAS, daVinci Decathlon, the Bond University High School Model United Nations (BUHMUN), the Australian Brain Bee Challenge at the University of QLD, Ethics Olympiad (in collaboration with the Life & Faith department) and the World Scholar’s Cup.

As in elite sports or music, there are some students whose academic ability is demonstrably higher than their peers (approximately the top 10% of their peer group). These students may require individually tailored learning plans, developed in collaboration with students, parents and teachers, which may include participation in a variety of ATD programs, Johns Hopkins Centre for Talented Youth programs, university programs/coursework and/or accelerative options.

The ATD Centre is open during most morning tea and lunch breaks and every Tuesday afternoon until 8pm, with mentorship from senior ATD program boys, so that boys who are part of specific ATD programs/teams have a supervised and structured space to pursue the many academic enrichment, extension and accelerative options available through the Academic Talent Development (ATD) department at TSS.

For more information, please email the ATD Coordinator – Dr Sarah Bond ([email protected])



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