Student tops 2022 Gifted Awareness Week competition

Lego and marbles have helped a Blackfriars Year 1 student win a prestigious academic award.

Tomas Kropinski, 6, has taken out first place in the 2022 Gifted Awareness Week Australia Lego Competition, in the Years 1/2 division, with his Lego marble run.

His incredible creation – which had a “police” theme – included a diverter which sent the marbles in different directions.

Catholic Education South Australia Gifted Education Adviser Rebecca Napier this week visited Blackfriars to present Tomas with his award, in front of the entire school.

“We have had sector-wide competitions in mathematics and STEM, as well as arts competitions,” Dr Napier told the assembly.

“And these competitions have been designed by very well-respected professors from local universities.

“Tomas … has won not only first prize in the Years 1/2 category, but he is also winning an Honourable Mention award, which means out of all the Lego marble maze entries that we had … he’s won the top of that competition.

“We’re really happy that he’s entered and done so well.”

The win followed Tomas’s second-place finish in the same competition last year.

He said there were challenges in creating his award-winning marble run.

“It was a bit hard in the middle part, because there was a diverter,” said Tomas, adding he loved maths and science because he found them “easy”.

“So, if you dropped the marble run that went straight into the diverter, it would go on one side and the other one would go on the other side.”

Head of Primary Emma Begg said the win was a “wonderful achievement for a young child”.

Principal David Ruggiero added: “Tomas has done exceptionally well and I don’t think you understand the level of ability Tomas has to be able to win that award.”

As for life after school, Tomas thinks he might like to become a police officer.


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