Two teams represented CHAC at the Opti-MINDS State Finals over the weekend of 12 to 14 October in Brisbane, and came away with impressive results. Our Year 8 team received commendation from judges and our Year 10 team was awarded Second Place in Queensland. The two teams which represented the College were:
- The Google Gals: Charlotte Blacker, Alice Dagwell, Jasmine Balfour, Leila O’Brien, Sarah Findlay and Rebecca Swift.
- The Recycle Disciples: Isaac Reed, Maxi Mossman, Jordan Ryan, Ella Blacker, James Wilke, Emily Smith and Liana Davies.
Coordinator: Gifted and Enterprise Education
Two weeks ago, 13 Year 8 and Year 10 students arrived at a hotel in the city, to get ready for the State and National Opti-MINDS championships. Before the competition started, we needed to enjoy some team bonding. Once settled in our hotel apartments, our teams gathered to be briefed and to place orders for pizza. Afterwards, the Year 8 team proceeded to the hotel pool, while the Year 10s played cards and chatted. Once the pizza arrived, we went to our rooms which we shared with our team members. This bonding time on Friday in the hotel and on Saturday at the disco must have worked, because both teams achieved highly this year.
Alice Dagwell, Year 8
On Saturday we travelled to the University of Queensland to participate in the Youth Ideas Forum. This session enabled every team to share an idea that they believed would make the world a better place. Our issue was challenging students to make a change within their own communities by including elders. This idea was borrowed from my Year 9 Changing Tomorrow project developed last year. Elderly isolation has become a growing issue and an increasing number of elderly people have become invisible in our society. Our initiative required high school students to visit local elders in their homes to share a morning tea and learn their story. The plan was to share the life stories of the people we spoke to by publishing a book called The Book of Elders.
Maxi Mossman, Year 10
In the Ideas Forum, our Year 8 team called ourselves the Yoga Bears and we discussed stress in teenagers. Do you know that feeling when you have loads of assessment and you get really stressed and anxious? Well, we think we know how to fix it. Our solution is to implement yoga into a school’s weekly routine. It is scientifically proven that if you do yoga before an exam, your grades improve. This is because you are calm and find it easier to focus. So why don’t you try some yoga, either before an exam or when you wake up in the morning? Or at school? In the Ideas Forum, we offered free yoga tutorials to passing students and adults. This proved very popular.
Leila O’Brien, Year 8
While Friday and Saturday were days where we could relax and have fun, even while presenting ideas, Sunday was when the real competition began. Each team was given the task of completing the six-week Regionals challenge in just three short hours. This meant that we had to rethink everything from our team dynamic to time management, as well as pull out our most creative ideas. The judges gave our CHAC teams great feedback, and particularly loved the fact that both College teams composed and performed original songs and raps as part of our presentations. In the end, our Year 10 team was very excited to be awarded second place in Queensland.
We would like to thank Ms Mossman, Mrs Horton, Mr O’Brien and Year 8 coach, Edie Biasibetti, for their support.
Isaac Reed, Year 10