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Big ideas win the day for Our Lady of Dolours School

Students (from left) Tristan Sweeney, Kayla Conway, Peter Marko, Clare Ryan
and Liam O’Dea-Jones proved that thinking big takes you places
THINKING big has taken students from Our Lady of Dolours School, Mitchelton, to the top in this year’s Opti-minds challenge.

The school took home the Language and Literature division 1 trophy on their first attempt at the Queensland State finals.

The team of five creative thinkers competed against 12 other teams from around Queensland and will now participate in a cultural exchange in New Zealand.

Opti-minds challenges students to solve an open-ended problem in a creative way, presenting the solution to an audience and a panel of judges.

Coming up with and presenting the solution requires divergent thinking, teamwork and a positive approach to solving problems. 

This year’s challenge focused on a quote from Gandhi: ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’.

At the state finals teams had three hours to find a creative solution to a challenge, making their own props, costumes and plan a dramatic response to present to a panel of judges and audience.

Assistant Principal for Religious Education Theresa Sheen said this was where the Our Lady of Dolours team, proved their ‘little’ school had ‘big’ potential.

Theresa said the team had to present an alternative view of the Cinderella story, where Cinderella might not be so innocent after all.

“The stepsisters wanted the ‘real’ story to come out,” she said.

“Of the 13 teams presenting their solutions, the audience certainly recognised that the Our Lady of Dolours team had come up with something ‘special’.

“The team presented their dramatic solution with confidence and demonstrated a clear understanding of the problem criteria.”

Theresa said it was a great success story for Our Lady of Dolours. Mitchelton.

“It highlighted the value of teamwork, creativity, thinking and courage.

“The five students have been wonderful examples of the schools vision to think, care and act to make a difference in our world.”

The team is now seeking support to raise $5000 to help them get to New Zealand to represent Queensland in an Opti-minds cultural experience.

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101