Flinders students win sustainability competition

Six students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast are the new Opti-MINDS National Champions, after winning their category.

More than 100 teams competed in the Opti-MINDS Creative Sustainability Challenge Finals on 13 and 14 October in Brisbane, with Flinders’ team of six students from Years 5 and 6 winning first place in the Science Engineering Division 1 category.

The Flinders team earned its place in the final during the regional event that took place in August 2018.

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 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.

“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,” Mr Meade said.

“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.”

For 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,” Ms Craven said.

“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.”

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