BRIGHT SPARKS: St. Joseph's Optiminds participants, bottom row: Chloe Richards, Sam Guymer, Cooper Cobb and Chance Kenshead. Top row: Zavier Fribence, Dylan Richards, Steven Woodgate, Patterson Frame, Allissiana Kemshead and Bellsy Guymer. Absent: Andreina Perez Contreras and John Hendriksen.
BRIGHT SPARKS: St. Joseph's Optiminds participants, bottom row: Chloe Richards, Sam Guymer, Cooper Cobb and Chance Kenshead. Top row: Zavier Fribence, Dylan Richards, Steven Woodgate, Patterson Frame, Allissiana Kemshead and Bellsy Guymer. Absent: Andreina Perez Contreras and John Hendriksen. Kate McCormack

Joey's jump into Opti-MINDS challenge

SAINT Joseph's Catholic Primary School have returned from their first Opti-MINDS competition in Gatton with some encouraging results.

All 12 students traveled from Chinchilla to compete at the regional round of the creative thinking and problem-solving competition at the University of Queensland's Gatton campus.

Teams had to create a way to relocate several ancient statues to a new location and demonstrate their idea to a group of judges.

After six weeks of busy preparation, building and practice the St Joseph's students were among 21 other teams from across the region, all vying for a chance to make it to the state finals in Brisbane.

Despite being the school's youngest of the three teams, the Year 3s received the Spirit of Opti-MINDS award for their resilience even though they faced a number of engineering setbacks on the day of the challenge.

"After a lot of discussion and testing we decided the best way to do the challenge was to build a crane,” Zavier said.

"Our model ended up breaking a number of times, and we even had to sticky tape it back together in Gatton,” Sam said.

"But we didn't give up - we just kept trying and working as a team.”

School principal and Opti-MINDS veteran Mrs Melissa Hobson said she was extremely proud of the hard work all three teams put into their challenge.

"Opti-MINDS is a wonderful opportunity for children to use team work and lateral thinking to solve tricky problems.

"All the Joey's students should be proud of what they achieved through participating and hopefully we can send even more children to take part in next year's challenge.”


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