STATE CHAMPIONS: The Science/Engineering team from St John's won first place at the State Opti-Minds final. (From left) Jak McVeigh-Davey, Heath Waugh, Mr Nathan Stone, Amy Shaw and Hannah Coffey
STATE CHAMPIONS: The Science/Engineering team from St John's won first place at the State Opti-Minds final. (From left) Jak McVeigh-Davey, Heath Waugh, Mr Nathan Stone, Amy Shaw and Hannah Coffey Katarina Silvester

Top minds find first

NOT even a rainy weekend in Brisbane could dampen the spirits of the St John's teams competing in the Opti-Minds State Finals last weekend at the University of Queensland.

The creative construction of a tower of cards by the Open Division Science & Engineering team won them first prize.

Given only three hours to complete an unseen challenge, the team worked together to come up with a solution to the problem.

Nathan Stone, the teacher representied in the team, said all they received was a pack of cards.

"We could use only 30, and a pair of scissors,” he said.

"We actually had to use Pythagoras' theorem.

"Yes, it really does come in use outside of a classroom.

The state champions were made up of a group of Year 8 and Year 10 students, including Jack McVeigh-Davey, who has been a part of the winning team for two years in a row, alongside Mr Stone.

"We want to go for three years in a row next year,” he said.

Alongside their main challenge, all teams were required to complete a 10-minute "spontaneous challenge” where they had to read, answer and form a creative solution to a general problem.

The question this year was: "What makes people richer, other than money?”

The champion St John's Team settled on chocolate.

"We said cocoa powder, because it makes the chocolate richer for the Easter Bilby, keeping in mind you have to be a little out there and creative in our response,” Mr Stone said. "In turn, the Bilby can give out more chocolate, meaning at Easter time more people can come together to make more memories.

"Also there would be more endorphins released, meaning people would be even more happy.”

The winning team unanimously agreed that they had fun and enjoyed the competition, with promises to go again next year.

Two other team

members, Matt Moloney and Angus Orchison, were

not able to participate in

the state finals, but were part of the winning regional team.

A new student to the school, Angus said he thought he'd give it a go.

"It seemed like fun, I wanted to see what it was like,” he said.

St John's was also well represented in the Social Sciences competition, with the Division Two group receiving honours.

St John's Humanities students received Honours at the State Opti-Minds Challenge. (From left) Mr Joseph Bortulis, Sean Dawes, Mia Oto, Kiss Cruz, Lilly Kirkbridge, Rosa Nangoye, and Brayden Blaul
St John's Humanities students received Honours at the State Opti-Minds Challenge. (From left) Mr Joseph Bortulis, Sean Dawes, Mia Oto, Kiss Cruz, Lilly Kirkbridge, Rosa Nangoye, and Brayden Blaul Katarina Silvester

They had to come up with three things they would find in a time capsule in the year 3030.

In it, the group decided to place the last branch of the last tree on earth.

"Humans had destroyed the earth by then,” said team member Lilly Kirkbridge.

"We also put in a piece of Mars, and a before and after pictures of the earth from now and the year 3030. Everything is destroyed.”

St John's has won five different first-place awards during the past five years.

"We punch well above our weight as a school,” Mr Stone said.


Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital

Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital

Man airlifted after colliding with an emu.

Taking over the pool

Taking over the pool

Roma State College holds middle and senior swimming carnival

LifeFlight's mammoth six-hour mission to transport child

LifeFlight's mammoth six-hour mission to transport child

It follows a marathon 10-hour mission earlier this month

Local Partners