Bright sparks see a fu­ture for the Reef

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tibballs

PORT Dou­glas State School is home to some young bright sparks, with a team of seven stu­dents win­ning in their di­vi­sion at the 2016 Opti-MINDS Chal­lenge.

The team of seven com­peted in Di­vi­sion 1 in the so­cial sci­ences cat­e­gory, with a cre­ative en­vis­ag­ing of the fu­ture of the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Putting their heads to­gether and sac­ri­fic­ing weeks of lunchtime ac­tiv­i­ties, the team thought through a sce­nario in­volv­ing how the Great Bar­rier Reef could sur­vive 50 years in the fu­ture after hu­mans had de­stroyed their own at­mos­phere.

Ac­cord­ing to the stu­dents sce­nario, the reef could live after hu­mans were ex­tinct by cre­at­ing its own ozone layer us­ing oxy­gen atoms from sea­wa­ter.

The cre­ative project was only one part of the chal­lenge though – com­pet­ing in Op­tiMINDS re­quires par­tic­i­pants to work on a long-term project (their co­ral sce­nario) and a short-term project on the day of the com­pe­ti­tion.

The kids said they all joined the team for the thrill of the chal­lenge, which they all rose to as they were marked as ‘out­stand­ing’ in all cat­e­gories.

The stu­dents will be trav­el­ling to Bris­bane in mid-Oc­to­ber to com­pete in the na­tional ti­tles.

Do you have a news tip? Con­tact Ed­i­tor Shane Ni­chols on 4099 8555 or­


Whiz Kids: Gwyneth Dow­ell, Emily Donoghue, Char­lie Moran, Sofia Cullen, Alyssa Heise, Grace Jones and Jonah Gawn

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