Future Problem Solving Competition Draws 60 teams from around the State

Avondale School District FPS teams demonstrate Critical and Creative Thinking

Members of the Avondale School District’s Future Problem Solving (FPS) team had a strong showing during the annual state-wide FPS competition in East Lansing, Michigan. More than fifty individual writers, forty middle and twenty senior teams  from across the state competed to be among the top future problem solvers in the State. Several Avondale students earned medals and recognition during the competition.

Members of the Avondale School District Future Problem Solving team wait for competition results at MSU in East Lansing

Members of the Avondale School District Future Problem Solving team wait for competition results at MSU in East Lansing

Fourth-grader Anish Jain, in his first state-level competition for individual booklet writing, earned a semifinalist medal and his sister, seventh-grader Anjika Jain was recognized as Michigan’s 2nd Place Middle Division Booklet Writer while sophomore Gloria Stach was named the 2nd Place Senior Individual Booklet Writer.

This year’s Michigan FPS Cover Design winner was Avondale Middle School eighth-grader Avani Govindswamy.  Avani also earned a 2nd Place medal alongside teammates Thejas Rengaswamy, Thomas Quach and Qijia Zhou for their presentation of an action plan skit. Other Avondale Middle School winners were seventh-graders Brian Good, Caroline Gratsch, Mackenzie Loyd and J.J. Williams who earned 2nd Place medals for their skit performance based on their Middle Division Booklet.

The experienced team of Avondale High School sophomores, Adam Good, Zachary Loyd, Abel Palathuruthil and Olivia Patch walked away with a pair of trophies for their 1st Place skit and for their 4th Place finish in the Senior Booklet Writing competition. Other students representing Avondale School District in the challenging Booklet Writing competition included eighth-graders Micaiah Whitaker, Preethi Venkatesan, and Niki Patel; ninth-grader Akhil Reddy; tenth-graders Deekshitha Balaji and Julia Gerard; and junior Sarah McIntosh.

Future Problem Solving (FPS) is an international program that engages students in creative problem solving. FPS was founded in 1974 by Dr. E. Paul Torrance and developed to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills and encourage students to consider a vision for the future. Students are required to solve complex problems with unique solutions and then present their ideas first in a very precise written format (the competition booklet) and then as a skit performance piece.

“It’s a very complex process,” said Avondale School District teacher and Future Problem Solving team coach, Laura Phou. “The students have to be strong writers who can organize their thoughts as they are working through them. When they write the booklet it has to be evident that the students understand and have followed the very precise FPS model for problem solving. It is an extremely challenging competition but our students enjoy it and do very well,” she added.

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