National Problem Solving Champions!

Date: 20th November 2017

Genetic modification, identity theft, the robotic age, trade barriers and biosecurity are all global issues that governments, business leaders and some of the world’s brightest minds are grappling with – they are also just a few of this year’s Future Problem Solving topics.

The Future Problem Solving programme engages students in deeper learning as they tackle existing or emerging challenges that are facing our world. Students develop their creativity and hone their critical and ethical thinking skills within the framework of some of the world’s most significant and pressing issues.

Future Problem Solving is a programme that Hattie Compton-Moen, Lucy Jessep and Zelle Logan, all Year 10 at St Margaret’s, and Annabelle Reilly from Christchurch Girls (also Year 10) have been engaged with since they were in Year 5. Earlier this year the girls teamed up to work together and after breezing through the qualifying round with flying colours they went on to win their division of the National Future Problem Solving Competition! They also took out the Overall Creativity Award, the first time it has been awarded to a Global Issues Team and judges were astonished by the quality of their booklet.

Winning the National Competition means they will be heading to Wisconsin, America in June next year to compete in the International Future Problem Solving Competition. The International Competition will follow a similar format to that of the qualifying round and National Competition here in New Zealand. In March the girls will be given the topic that the problem will be on and will have just over two months to research, understand, and gain a grasp on the potential breadth of the issue. Then, come June, once they have arrived in Wisconsin, they will find themselves in a room with teams from all over the world. Once the teams have been given the specific problem they will have just two hours and fifteen minutes to ‘solve’ the issue using only their combined knowledge of the topic and the skills and tactics they have learnt during earlier competitions. Teamwork, theoretical resourcefulness, vision and thinking outside the box are all essential to creating an efficacious and potentially winning ‘solution’.

The girls are looking forward to the International Competition and we can’t wait to see how they go!

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