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CHAC Opti-MINDS state champions!

CHAC Opti-MINDS state champions!

Author: Barbara Mossman
Author Role: Gifted and Enterprise Education Coordinator


To the two CHAC teams who emerged State Champions and State Runners-Up respectively at the recent Opti-MINDS State Finals held at The University of Queensland over the weekend of the 11 to 13 October, earning the College our best results ever at this level of the competition.

Our Year 9 team, Lizard Time, won the State Championship in the Language and Literature division with a perfect score from the judges for their brilliant Long-Term Challenge performance and a clear demonstration of exceptional teamwork in their Spontaneous Challenge. The team was Lily Smith, Alice Dagwell, Lily Chippendale, Alec Wills, Sarah Findlay, Redmond Marshall and Rebecca Swift.

In the Science and Engineering division, our Year 8 team, the Wise Domes, placed State Runners-up, performing particularly well in their engaging Long-Term Challenge performance. The team was Zoe Billings, Anneliese Roduner, Will Emmerton, Charli Theil, Alexandra Cartwright and Lachlan Nock.

The Opti-MINDS competition is valued by the College for its focus on a combination of creativity and collaboration, as well as its need for lateral thinking and performance ability, all skills important for students in the future outside of school. A huge thank you to the students for their efforts and for their positivity and energy over the weekend away–both teams were a joy to take away. Thanks, too, to Ms Hogan for helping supervise teams over the weekend and to Mrs Horton for judging in the Language and Literature section on Sunday.

Student Perspectives…

Every moment of the Opti-minds State Finals was truly unforgettable, whether it was as small as making breakfast together or as exciting as performing our Long-Term Challenge. My favourite moment though, was when they called our team name to receive our State Champion medals. Standing on stage and looking between my friends, I could see the overwhelming happiness and relief. Our hard work had paid off and we had a state title to prove it. Although we were a mismatched group, I wouldn’t have wanted to experience this with anyone else. Each of my team members exemplified what Opti-MINDS stood for- compassion, determination, hardworking, creativity, and fun-spiritedness. I would like to thank the team facilitators, Ms Mossman and Ms Hogan, for all of their sacrifices to be there with us and to support us right from the start of Term 3. I’d also like to shout out to the Year 8 team as they did amazingly well. Finally, I’d like to thank my teammates, Alice, Alec, Lily, Sarah, Rebecca, and Redmond. I’m so lucky to be able to experience this with you guys, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.  (Liley Smith, Year 9)

I recently participated in the Opti-MINDS State Finals at The University of Queensland St Lucia campus. Our teams met up on Friday evening for a fun night of swimming, eating pizza and watching Jurassic Park. On Saturday, we participated in an ideas forum, where we were given the opportunity to present our ideas on how to create a better, more sustainable future. Our idea focused on raising awareness of deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations.

Sunday was competition day. We had three hours to devise a Creative Challenge that responded to a given stimuli. This included the creation of props, costumes, completion of paperwork, and, in the case of our Science and Engineering team, the design of a machine that fit the stimuli’s criteria. During this time, we were also taken aside to complete our Spontaneous Challenge, a 10-minute challenge where we had to respond to meaningful questions under time pressure while being judged on both our creativity and our teamwork.

Presenting our solution was probably the most exciting part of the weekend and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I seriously recommend the Opti-MINDS challenge to all students, it has been an incredible experience.  (Zoe Billings, Year 8)