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Runaway Bay students take on Opti-MINDS challenge


A TEAM of students from St Francis Xavier School, Runaway Bay, has topped the Social Sciences Division at the Gold Coast regional Opti-MINDS Creative Sustainability Challenge.

The St Francis Xavier team, consisting of six students from Years 3 to 6, took part in the two-day, inclusive team challenge which empowers participants to think, create and communicate.

Accompanied by teacher librarian Jennifer Craig
 and classroom teacher Brodie Tonge, the St Francis Xavier team was pitted against 12 other schools from across Queensland and Western Australia.

Team member Saskia Chu said the challenge was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, work together, problem solve, communicate with each other and express themselves in a new and exciting environment.

“It was great to see so many other children our age and older so excited about learning and sharing this amazing experience with us,” she said.

Saskia and the other team members felt “super proud” of the work and the effort they put in to their entry.

She said it was a fantastic achievement and they were grateful to Ms Tonge and Mrs Craig for what they did and how they helped them.

“I was happy to have my parents and family experience this with us and I was nervous and very proud to receive our Honours Award on stage,” she said.

“It showed us that all our hard work and lunch times we had been giving up paid off and made us feel extra proud.

“It brought our team closer together as we shared the celebration and it helped us realise that each team member contributed to the challenges using their special strengths.

“It also showed that we made friendships with people in the team that we normally would not have done,” she said.

Tegan Erickson said it was a great experience for the team and the school.

The Year 4 student said it was a very exciting and memorable experience that she would never forget

“I felt excited and amazed. I never even dreamed of winning the Gold Coast regional division let alone the Queensland division,” she said.

“It brought us closer together than ever before.

“I have never been friends with any of the members of the team before and we are really, really good friends now.

“We have reached the ultimate achievement together.”

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