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Westfall Seventh Graders Place Second in Ohio Will Compete at International Conference

On April seventh twenty-one Westfall students traveled to Solon, Ohio to compete in the Ohio Future Problem Solvers State Bowl. At the conclusion of the bowl a group of four sixth grade students placed fourth in the state. Additionally, four seventh grade girls, Olivia Barnes, Claire Lathem, Isabella McBride, and Ashley Hegarty placed second in Ohio and will travel to LaCrosse, Wisconsin to represent both Westfall and the state of Ohio at the FPS International Conference. They will compete against students from Australia, China, France, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Georgia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and most states within the USA.

The Future Problem Solvers competition consists of teams of four students. They are given a list of topics pertaining to real world challenges. This year Westfall FPS students studied Educational Disparites in October, Genetics in December, and 3D Printing in February. Then for the State Bowl, students studied Identity Theft. The process begins with students fully researching the topic. Then, on the day of the competition, teams are given a one page futuristic scenario which takes place at least twenty-five years in the future. Students are to apply the research they have studied and incorporate futuristic components into their knowledge about the present. Students write sixteen challenges, choose one focus area (called an underlying problem), write sixteen solutions, evaluate their booklet, and write a one to two page essay describing their best solution. They are required to write their sixteen challenges and solutions utilizing sixteen different categories (business, economics, ethics, etc.) to incorporate will rounded thinking. The eleven page booklet must be completed in two hours.

FPS is a very challenging process. It is meant to develop higher level thinking skills and apply them to real life challenges that exist today and will continue in the future. They use brainstorming skills and numerous reading and writing skills. Teams also utilize communication skills as they work in teams to produce a product. They are learning the six step process of problem solving and are highly motivated students who strive to challenge themselves.

The group of four seventh graders are presently studying the topic of Biosecurity for the International Conference. They will stay at the University of Wisconsin for the conference on June 7-11.

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