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Classroom Technology

Problem-Solving Olympiad Puts Power Skills to the Test

By Michalis Gkontas, CEO of NXTLVL — June 03, 2024 4 min read
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The inaugural NXTLVL Problem-Solving Olympiad brought students together online for a day of spirited competition, pushing them to their true potential. Middle school problem-solvers from four continents, including three of the top ten virtual schools ranked by World Schools, navigated complex challenges in teams. These challenges tested timeless Power Skills like creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

NXTLVL is a pioneering edtech program that helps students develop Power Skills, preparing them for a rapidly evolving world driven by AI advancements and scientific innovations. Our game-based learning approach combines team challenges with expert coaching, equipping students with the skills needed to take on anything.

Many progressive schools, like those attending the Olympiad, are integrating competency-based education into their curricula, focusing on Power Skills to prepare their students for school, work and life.

Gabriel Hernandez, Director of Technology at our champion school Alverno Heights Academy believes “participation in such interactive activities not only enriches students’ learning experiences but also helps them develop essential skills that are beneficial for their personal and academic growth.”

The new Problem-Solving Olympiad offers an extraordinary learning environment for tomorrow’s problem-solvers to stretch their Power Skills by collaborating under pressure.

Schools from around the world took on the May Olympiad. Photo provided by NXTLVL.

Power Skill award winners

To emphasize the importance of Power Skills, we rewarded exceptional examples.

The Emotional Intelligence Award went to Minerva’s Virtual Academy, a globally recognized online school based in the UK, for “anticipating the needs and strategies of allies and opponents to navigate conflicts.”

Williamsburg Academy of Colorado picked up the Resilience Award for “perseverance in pushing through setbacks without losing momentum.”

Laurel Springs School earned the Critical Thinking Award for “demonstrating exceptional analytical thinking, decoding complex problems with logical and strategically sound solutions.”

The Communication and Creativity Awards went to the Prisma Online School for “mastering divergent thinking, consistently generating and synthesizing innovative ideas, while communicating them clearly.”

The Power Skills Awards. Photo provided by NXTLVL.

The Champions

We witnessed the peak of escalating intensity in the Championship Level as four teams battled it out for the main prize. Fourth place went to Prisma Online School, third place to Hill Top Preparatory School, and second place to Minerva’s Virtual Academy.

Our overall champions were a team from Alverno Heights Academy, an independent Catholic school from California. They epitomized teamwork, securing the Power Skill Award for collaboration. With a perfect balance of leadership and emotional intelligence, they leveraged each other’s diverse skills and perspectives. Their dynamism and synchronicity were evident from start to finish. Worthy winners indeed.

Hernandez added, “This Olympiad provides a unique platform for students to engage in communication and critical thinking skills, which are essential in today’s educational landscape. While traditional sports often focus on teamwork and collaboration, this competition allows educators to reach a broader spectrum of students and foster these important skills collectively.”

One of the Alverno Heights Academy students emphasized the importance of “teamwork, communication, and lots of planning before each round,” which was key to their success.

The 6 Power Skills trophies sit inside the champions’ trophy. Photo provided by NXTLVL.

The ultimate contest of wits

The Olympiad was a breathtaking experience. The speed at which all teams adapted to the surmounting challenges reminded us of what students are capable of when given the right platform. In just five hours, students transformed from being curious but uncertain to astute problem-solving teams.

Initially, they dove in without knowing the rules, requiring them to decode the game, develop hypotheses, and fine-tune their tactics. As the game evolved, they had to rework their strategies and adapt on the fly. This journey through failure, setbacks, and upended strategies led them to a finish line where the sweetness of victory was palpable.

The next level

Building on the success of the May event, we’re excited to announce the November Olympiad, which promises to be even more spectacular, expanding over multiple days to welcome more schools.

With early bird access, it’s free for the first four teams until July 1st.

Click here to register and give your students a head start on the future.

We extend a heartfelt thank you to the Elite Academic Academy for their invaluable support in hosting the event and the other schools that made it possible.

Alverno Heights Academy
Boston College High School
Colégio Bento Benedini
Hill Top Preparatory School
Laurel Springs School
Leadership Academy of Utah
Mesa Public Schools
Minerva’s Virtual Academy
Prisma Online School
Repton Abu Dhabi
Repton Al Barsha
Repton Dubai
Williamsburg Academy
Williamsburg Academy of Colorado