• March 7, 2024

    Three teams advance Future Problem Solving State Bowl

    Three Upper St. Clair Future Problem Solving teams recently qualified to compete at the 2024 State Bowl, which is set for March 22-23, 2024, in Camp Hill, Pa. Upper St. Clair’s top teams included two in the Senior Division (grades 10-12) and one at the Middle Division (grades 7-9).

    • 11th Grade Team: Anna Englemann, Sydney Waldron, Isabel Vilenksy, and Prachi Chetlur
    • 10th Grade Team: Sofia Alfredson Themudo, Anoushka Barve, Sara Gillespie and Kaia Petrick
    • 7th Grade Team: Seth Pedretti, Owen Maher, Will Kreizenbeck and Nick Heitman

    To advance, teams had to place within the top seven in the Middle Division and the top six in the Senior Division against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania on the qualifying problem of Antarctica.

    The team of 10th graders are the reigning Middle Division champions from last year’s 2023 FPS State Bowl. The high school students served as mentors for this year’s seventh grade team. The teams are coached by Mr. Jason O’Roark, gifted/accelerated math teacher at Fort Couch Middle School, and Casey Teagarden, gifted teacher at Upper St. Clair High School.

    “The seventh-grade team received guidance from 10th grade students who qualified for nationals last year and graciously offered to use their experience to help our Fort Couch teams,” Mr. O’Roark said.

    Future Problem Solving is a research-based program introduced by Dr. E. Paul Torrance that consists of a six-step process through which students address complex issues and develop solutions. The program teaches problem-solving strategies, collaboration, critical and creative thinking, decision-making skills, and effective communication.

    “First, they brainstorm all of the different challenges within the situation while attempting to look at the problem from many different perspectives. Then decide which challenge or group of challenges is the most serious and develop their underlying problem,” Mr. O’Roark said. “From there, they brainstorm solutions and develop criteria to evaluate those solutions. They rank their solutions based on each criteria and add up the scores to determine the best solution. Finally, they write up an action plan that describes the details of the solution and all of the consequences of its implementation.”



    11th Grade Team

    10th Grade Team

    7th Grade Team