Helena College team minds triumph at Opti-MINDS

WA team from Helena College Junior School included Tom Ford, William Friedrichs, Olivia Hanly, Ryan Humphreys, Matthew Kelly, Stephanie Wallis, Kiah Watson and teacher Kate Barclay.
WA team from Helena College Junior School included Tom Ford, William Friedrichs, Olivia Hanly, Ryan Humphreys, Matthew Kelly, Stephanie Wallis, Kiah Watson and teacher Kate Barclay.

HELENA College Junior School’s first time representing WA at the national finals of the Opti-MINDS Challenge resulted in a win in the junior division of the science and engineering category.

The team had three hours to solve the problem of how to transport an automated exploration vehicle, which has veered drastically off course, to land safely.

They had to design a device to catch the vehicle, represented by a tennis ball, and release it on to the ground without moving too far.

Not only did they have to design the right device for the job but also create and then perform a skit to present their findings to the judges.

Also during the three-hour lock-down the team had to solve a spontaneous challenge in just four minutes, with only two minutes to write down their response.

Opti-MINDS is a national and State inter-school competition that challenges teams to solve demanding, open-ended questions about topics such as language, literature and science and engineering.