Teams take honors at Future Problem Solvers competition

Bellingham Public Schools sent 28 teams of students to the state competition for Future Problem Solvers in Stanwood, Wash in April 2017. Multiple teams placed in the top 12 for their division and two teams placed in the top 3 for presentations. Of the teams that placed at state, two teams advanced to the international competition at the University of Wisconsin in June 2017.

The Future Problem Solving (FPS) program revolves around grouping like-learners together and challenging them with complex problems. Students are challenged to analyze scenarios from multiple perspectives, explore their curiosities, and make connections to the local and larger global community. FPS is a program that encourages and develops thinking skills to adapt to a changing world through a six step process.

The Future Problem Solving program runs from September to April. Students participate in tests and competitions prior to qualifying for the state bowl in April.

“All the students worked very hard,” said Melissa Cornelsen, the Future Problem Solvers coach at Fairhaven Middle. “The state bowl experience is a unique one and allows students to experience creative and critical thinking beyond the walls of school.”

State Competition Results

Junior Division (grades 4 to 6), three teams placed in the top 12:

  • 10th Place: Kaitlyn Cox, Sophia Rey, Rhianna Johnson, and Opal Gould
  • 7th Place: Sierra Hawes, Abby Scoggins, Charlie Oltman, Tineshe Muchirawehondo,
  • 2nd Place and qualified for the International Competition: Lola Bultsma, Lillian McCall, Paili Airth, Barrett Cerenzia

Middle Division (grades 7 to 9), four teams placed in the top 12:

  • 8th Place: Hannah Brown, Johannah Hedges, Gabby Recio, Roisin Connor
  • 7th Place: Marissa Douglas, Camille Kendrick, Alex Weller, David Hagin
  • 3rd Place: Tori King, Sophia Naviaux, Aden Rivinius, Maya Cornwall
  • 2nd Place and qualified for the International Competition: Diane Park, Anna Sophia Flanagan, Eli Bunn, Clara Kelly

Two teams placed in the top 3 in the Action Plan Skit Presentations:

  • Middle Level 3rd Place Skit: Marissa Douglas, Camille Kendrick, Alex Weller, David Hagin
  • Junior Level 1st Place Skit: Barrett Cerenzia, Lola Bultsma, Lillian McCall, Paili Airth

Though the two teams that advanced to internationals did not place in the top 10, Cornelsen said the students did great and had an amazing experience.

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