St Margaret’s College’s (SMC) Future Problem Solving (FPS) Internationals squad has been
representing New Zealand at the Future Problem Solving International Competition at the
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA.
Competing alongside more than 70 teams from all over the world, SMC student Tilly O’Donnell
placed first in the Multi-Affiliate Global Issues competition, working as part of a team of four
students from around the world. The SMC team also placed second in the Presentation of
Action Plan, which requires competitors to create a short presentation to pitch the solution to the
problem they have been given.
The SMC squad is made up of seven Year 10 and 11 students, four of whom are the current
Middle Division New Zealand champions – Trelise McEwan, Middle Division Individual
Champion, and Zara Clark, Mille Edwards, and Holly Sawyer as Middle Division Team
Champions, having won at the New Zealand FPS Nationals late last year.
The team is further bolstered by the 2021 Junior Division champions, Year 10 students Sneha
Datla, Phoebe James, and Tilly O’Donnell, and is accompanied by their coach and Head of
Junior School, Bridget Compton-Moen.
FPS is a critical thinking competition that engages competitors in a deep investigation into a
topic. It teaches students a problem-solving process to help them make a positive difference in
their local and global communities now and in the future.
Bridget Compton-Moen comments:
“FPS has a long and successful history at SMC, with girls from Year 5-11 taking part in this
extremely challenging program. It aligns closely with our College’s vision to create empathetic,
confident, and connected global citizens who strive to make a positive difference.
We are beyond proud of our girls and the hard work they have put into preparing for this prestigious
The topic for the 2023 International Championships was Currency, requiring teams to learn
about cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, and global currencies and to research the future of