Six Matthew Flinders Anglican College students are the new Opti-MINDS National Champions, after winning their category at the Finals held in Brisbane last weekend.
More than 100 teams competed in the Opti-MINDS Creative Sustainability Challenge Finals on 13 and 14 October, with Flinders’ team of six students from Years 5 and 6 winning first place in the Science Engineering Division 1 category.
Opti-MINDS is an annual challenge that attracts thousands of participants in teams from primary and secondary schools who compete at regional, state and national challenges.
Teams are invited to think, create and communicate as they tackle creative challenges in their chosen category of either science and engineering, language and literature or social sciences.
Flinders Principal Stuart Meade congratulated the College team for their creativity, teamwork and courage.
The Flinders Opti-MINDS Science Engineering team consists of Lucy Sinnamon, Jamie Plowman, Nethra Chandrasekar, Giacomo Hernandez, Zach Sahihi and Daniel Probert and their facilitator Leanne Craven, with support from teacher librarian Fran Butt.
“This is the first time a Flinders team has participated in Opti-MINDS,” Stuart says.
“Opti-MINDS is a daunting competition as it invites participants to think on their feet, to work collaboratively against the clock, and to embrace uncertainty,” he says.
“These are wonderful skills for our Primary students to learn as they become more confident in their ability to face new challenges and arrive at creative solutions,” he says.
“I thank our College teaching staff and families involved for supporting our Flinders Opti-MINDS team to be successful and to enjoy the experience.”
Flinders Opti-MINDS team won the Regional events in August to secure their place in the Finals last weekend.
In the Finals, teams had three hours to create a tower using playing cards and matchboxes to commemorate 30 years since the creation of a mythical place called ‘Arboria’, and then present the solution to judges as a 10-minute scripted play.
Facilitator Leanne Craven said the students demonstrated strong team work and had great fun.
“Our team was successful because they worked respectfully as a team, recognised their individual and collective strengths, managed their time well and adapted a solution formula to different situations,” Leanne says.
“I encourage all schools and parents to support students to get involved – it’s a fun and creative way for young people to develop confidence, self-esteem, team skills, time management and creativity.”