• March 31, 2023

    Future Problem Solvers compete at states

    9th grade teamTwo teams of Upper St. Clair High School students were top performers at the Future Problem Solving (FPS) State Bowl – qualifying for the FPS International Conference. The State Bowl event was held March 24-25, 2023, in Camp Hill, Pa.

    “Our teams did a tremendous job,” Connie Gibson, gifted education coordinator, said. “Both of the USCHS FPS teams performed admirably, coming out on top in their respective divisions (grades 10-12 and 7-9) and qualifying to attend FPS Internationals – an incredible accomplishment! I am so excited for all!”

    The 9th grade team (Sofia Alfredson Themudo, Anoushka Barve, Sara Gillespie, Kaia Petrick) earned first place in Global Issues Problem Solving and first place in the Action Plan Presentation.

    The 10th grade team (Jamie Barrett, Frankie Dubreil, Anna Engelman, Sydney Montgomery) earned second place in Global Issues Problem Solving and first place in the Action Plan Presentation. 

    “Their point total for Global Issues Problem Solving was so close to first place that both teams are being sent to the international competition,” Mrs. Gibson said.

    10th Grade TeamThe FPS International Conference is set for June 7-11, 2023, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    “This is such an amazing event for the students to be able to experience,” Mrs. Gibson said. “The Future Problem Solving International competition involves thousands of students from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Turkey and the United States.”

    At the State Bowl, teams were given two hours to use a six-step think tank method to brainstorm possible problems and solutions for a scenario on the topic of throw away society. In addition, teams were required to create an action plan presentation for their solution.

    “I truly believe that Future Problem Solving is such an important program, instilling critical skills in our future leaders,” Mrs. Gibson said. “FPS ingrains a process for how to think and make a positive difference in the world around them – both now and in the future. Students learn how to creatively think about, and assess, future problems so they can find solutions to solve them.” 

    For both teams, this marks the second year in a row competing at the state-level competition. The 9th grade team finished first, advancing to internationals, and the 10th grade team placed second in 2022.

    To qualify to compete at the Future Problem Solving State Finals, teams had to perform well at the regional competition with the topic robotic workforce. Students compete within three divisions: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), and Senior (grades 10-12).

    Future Problem Solving (FPS) is a program that was introduced by Dr. E. Paul Torrance in 1974. FPS is a research-based program that teaches problem solving strategies, collaboration, critical and creative thinking, decision-making skills, and effective communication.