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CHAC rises to the Opti-Challenge again!

CHAC rises to the Opti-Challenge again!

Author: Barbara Mossman and Stephanie Hogan
Author Role: Gifted Education

Last weekend proved to be yet another highly successful year for CHAC at the Opti-MINDS Regional Competition, as our five enthusiastic teams of students were awarded two First Places, two Honours Awards (second place), and two Spirit of Opti-MINDS Awards. Opti-MINDS is a creative sustainability challenge which requires the participants to utilise collaborative skills to devise innovative solutions to problems, over a six-week period. Our teams participated across three categories: Language and Literature, Science and Engineering, and Social Sciences, and demonstrated an excellent understanding of the high level of creative script writing, dramatic presentation and scientific knowledge needed to successfully navigate these challenges. Teams are also to be commended on how well they worked collaboratively, or navigated teamwork challenges encountered along the way, which is a major component of the Spirit of Opti-MINDS award.

The Challenges involved the following:

  • Science and Engineering - designing a device that could move an important town monument, the Wizz-Dom, following a specific design brief.
  • Social Sciences - devising an inaugural Extreme Wisdom event aiming to discover the wisest person currently alive on the planet.
  • Language and Literature – creating a Works of Wisdom Festival Program highlighting the work and creators of two literary pieces encapsulating wisdom.

On the day, the teamwork and enjoyment of our students were clearly on show, as were their creativity and talent. All teams represented the College proudly and their efforts were a testament to CHAC’s support of a culture of innovation and vibrancy. Team awards were as follows:

  • First Prize: The Wise Domes (Zoe Billings, Charlotte Theil, Alex Cartwright, Will Emmerton, Lachlan Nock, Anneliese Roduner)
  • First Prize: Lizard Time (Lily Chippendale, Liley Smith, Alec Wills, Sarah Findlay, Alice Dagwell, Rebecca Swift, Redmond Marshall)
  • Second Prize and the Spirit of Opti-MINDS Awards: Discombobulation (Hannah Schultz, Matt Stoward, Alyza Jeffery, Penny Spears, Charlotte Blacker, Libby Elliot, Amelia Beveridge)
  • Second Prize: Casos (Claire Nock, Sophia Beckett, Abigail Mackay, Olivia Griffiths, Siaan Miller)
  • Spirit of Opt-MINDS Awards: The 7 Wise Owls (Toby Chippendale, Ryan Glennon, Sasha Whitcombe, Mischa Mossman-Postula, Lachlan Swift, Abby Foresto, Callie Bannister)

The considerable time and support offered by the team coaches deserve acknowledgement, as without them Opti-MINDS would not happen.  Thank you to Mrs Horton, and Mrs Barnett whose assistance was much appreciated.

The two winning teams will now go on to represent the College at the State Opti-MINDS Final at The University of Queensland in October. We wish the students all the best as they prepare for the next level of competition.

What students had to say...

"For me, Opti-MINDS wasn’t just the scriptwriting and creation of a drama performance for a competition, it was also the strong bonds I made along the way. Each team was comprised of different personalities and strengths, and in my team, some of us barely knew each other. The difference from when we first stepped through the door to just as we were leaving from Regionals was memorable. Some of the friendships I made along the way I know I will have all through my schooling. As for the competition itself, Opti-MINDS was by far one of the best co-curricular activities I have done. It was engaging and taught me a great deal about sustainability and working in a team, as well as being fun because we got to create a full drama performance and design our own costumes. I would highly recommend being a part of Opti-MINDS next year!!" (Olivia Griffiths, Year 7)

"From the first week we started until the day we all stepped inside the square to start our performance, Opti-MINDS has been an amazing experience. Throughout our six weeks of planning for the final competition, we learnt how to utilise our Drama and English skills and also improve our ability to collaborate, manage our time, and finish with the best idea possible. My name’s Sasha Whitcombe and I was in the Year 7 Language and Literature team. Honestly, after we watched the Year 9s perform we didn’t have high hopes (they were amazing), yet our team still received the Spirit of Opti-MINDS Award! We all worked so hard and were extremely proud of this achievement. This competition has been incredible, I loved every second of it and will definitely do it again next year." (Sasha Whitcombe, Year 7)