On 23 August 2015, six Brisbane Independent School (BIS) students competed in a team challenge at the annual Brisbane West Opti-MINDS challenge along with more than 20 other schools at St Peter’s Lutheran College and were awarded the “Spirit of Opti-MINDS” award.
The Opti-MINDS Creative Sustainability Challenge is an inclusive team challenge which EMPOWERS participants to THINK, CREATE & COMMUNICATE. Opti-MINDS is a creative problem solving event for teams of participants from Preschool to Adult within 4 divisions.
This is the first time BIS has participated in Opti-MINDS for more than 12 years. Their student team had to respond to a social sciences question about a utopian community in the future and decide how members were selected – this all had to happen through their own team work and ideas.
The students had to write the script alone. All costumes and props were their own design and had to fit in a $50 budget – everything was priced, even the bamboo from the garden!
The teams also had a spontaneous challenge on the day to response to where they were graded on their collaboration and evidence of team spirit.
“The students worked hard in the 4 weeks leading up to the day to create a delightful response to the challenge question” says BIS Principal and Teacher, Jen Haynes.
The team showed such strong teamwork and collaboration that they were given the Spirit of Opti-MINDS award by the judges, an extraordinary feat for a group in their first year.
As a school with 50 years of progressive vision for education the award demonstrates how the BIS philosophy and curriculum of child empowerment and integrative thinking creates the critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical understanding and general capabilities of students which is so important to the future of education in Australia.
“I was absolutely overwhelmed by the BIS team’s capacity to create and complete a project alone to such a high standard and then to perform it in front of strangers with such confidence and skill” says Jen.
“I know groups of adults who could not have done it. I cannot wait to see what their performance will be like next year now that they know what to expect.”
The school was honoured to have Pullenvale Ward Councillor Margaret de Wit present the certificate to the Opti-MINDS team at their school meeting on 14 September.
BIS hopes to have two teams compete in Opti-MINDS next year.