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 the Opti-Minds Challenge

Over the weekend we had three Xavier teams competing in The Opti-MINDS Challenge in Bundaberg. Opti-MINDS is a problem-solving event for all ages and through participation, students develop enterprise, critical and creative thinking skills, sustainable thinking, cooperative problem solving, time and budget management, communication skills and responsibility. The competition consists of two challenges, one six week long term challenge and a spontaneous challenge where students are put into a room for 10 minutes and given a problem to solve. 

The long term challenges were;

The Language Literature Challenge:

Year 4/5’s: Toby Railz (Yr 4), Louise Drake (Yr 4), Emma Skyring (Yr 5), Amahlia Petta (Yr 5), Megan Mulholland (Yr 5), Georgia Cassidy (Yr 5) and Stella Ignatenko (Yr 5).


The colourful and excitable Topi-Topi tribe (* Pronounced ‘Toe pea – Toe pea’) has received a message that has sent them into a frenzy of activity!

The message reads:


                SHINING AT YOU FROM A FAR

                UP ABOVE THE WORLD SO HIGH

                LIKE A DIAMOND IN THE SKY


                SHINING, SHINING - NOT SO FAR…’

What does the message actually mean? Despite the instant frenzied reaction from the majority of the Topi‑Topis, some among them feel that the message has a different meaning altogether!

The Science Engineering Challenge:

Our Year 9 team: Jack Hughes, Nicholas Adams, Mathew Maag, Will Alcorn, Bailee Kittle and Kiara Bird


A habitable world within reach of current technology has recently been discovered. 

Top minds have come together to send an exploration team to this new world.  The reasons for this journey have yet to be made public.  

The journey however, is so long and perilous that the exploration team will have to be put in stasis, and the Exploration Vehicle (EV) will need to be fully automated. In addition, it will only have enough fuel for the journey to the new world, but not enough for the return trip!

A new, and completely different, method of fuelling the return journey must be found...

The Social Sciences Challenge:

Our Year 7 team: Xavier Marrello, Kawya Jayasinghe, Hayden Buchanan and Matthew Jones.


Somewhere far, far away, an exciting new existence beckons…

It offers adventure, excitement, change, freedom … and above all – hope!

The opportunity to live in ‘Opti-STAR HOPE’ as Founding Members, and to help establish this new, alternative community is now being promoted by the HOPE Agency.  Founding Members of ‘Opti‑STAR HOPE’ will be responsible for how the new community is established and managed.

Those selected must fit specific criteria set by the Agency.

You decide to apply in the hope that you fit the criteria and are lucky enough to be selected to become a founding member of ‘Opti-STAR HOPE’!


All teams were required to complete these tasks with no assistance from teachers, including their script, budget and costumes. They all did an extraordinary job and we were all very proud of their efforts.

Our first primary team was entered in the competition and were lucky enough to walk away with a first place prize. We wish them all the best for their State finals on in Brisbane on the 18 October!

Well Done teams!

Alana Curran , Pete Dewaard, Tom Riley and Shannon McDuff

optiminds 2015 winners.jpg