Two teams from Wanganui Girls' College won first and second places in complex maths engineering challenges at the Tournament of Minds regional competition in Palmerston North last weekend.

The winning team's challenge, Spooky Action at a Distance, required them to construct a vehicle from clear plastic so that it was almost invisible and have it travel along a set path carrying cargo.

Additional requirements were to devise a scenario, write a script which required dressing up, stick to strict parameters and spend no more than $75 on materials.

Teacher Rakesh Desai said the students involved had six weeks to prepare for the challenge and they were not allowed to ask for help from their teachers or parents.

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"They have worked very hard during lunch hours and after school to prepare for the challenge and their efforts really paid off," he said.

The national final of the Tournament of Minds will be held in Lower Hutt on September 20, which poses a dilemma for some team members who are also scheduled to compete in the Dancenzmade final on the same date.

The school won three trophies at the regional final of the Dancenzmade contemporary dance competition held in Wanganui last month.

"The Tournament of Minds regulations are very strict about team numbers and no personnel changes, so we are going to have to sort it out within the next two weeks," said Dr Desai.

The contest sponsored by the Ministry of Education includes language, literature, social sciences, applied technology and maths engineering.