North Haven future problem solvers find success
Participants of North Haven schools’ Future Problem Solving (FPS) club recently continued a tradition of success at state level competitions.
On March 25 and 26, the 28th annual FPS Program of Connecticut State Conference was held at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs. For the 28th consecutive year, North Haven children earned the right to compete at the event.
The FPS Program is a yearlong, educational series which challenges students to solve problems related to subjects of global significance. In 2011, topics included healthy living, air transportation, genetic testing and water quality.
The best problem solvers from across Connecticut were chosen to participate in the state contest based on their performance in the qualifying round — in all, over 300 people attended. North Haven was represented in all three divisions (junior, middle and senior), and in the global team problem solving, individual problem solving, scenario writing and zippy booklet competitions.
Kids competed for the right to represent Connecticut at the FPS Program International Conference, which will be held at The University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, from June 8 through June 12. Over 2,300 students from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea will be attending the conference. North Haven students and their families will open their homes to host visiting Australian and Singaporean FPS students for two-to-three days prior to the International Conference.
Approximately 250,000 students from all over the world are involved in the various components of this challenging and demanding program.
This year’s international conference will focus on the timely topic of emergency planning. Global issues students are given a futuristic scenario, from which they determine potential challenges, choose an issue to solve, brainstorm solutions, evaluate their solutions and develop an action plan to explain fully their best solution.
The FPS of Connecticut Program also has scenario writing, community problem solving, and art components. The scenario writing competition allows an individual to create a futuristic short story based on one of the topics. Community problem solving teaches students how to solve local problems and the art component encourages students to use their artistic talents to express the issues related to one of the year’s topics.
For the 25th consecutive year, North Haven earned the right to represent Connecticut at the FPS International Conference. The following North Haven teams and students qualified for this year’s Future Problem Solving International Conference:
Senior Division Global Issues Team Competition Champions and Third Place for Action Plan Presentation: North Haven High School (NHHS) juniors Prakhar Bansal, Gregory Bicknell, Christopher Musco and David Pham
Second Place Senior Division Global Issues Team Competition: seniors Timothy Barron, Luke Chvisuk, Bradley Koval and E. Lily Seropian
Middle Division Global Issues Team Competition Champions: freshmen Matt Ennis, Jesse Morrow, Amanda Royka and Meredith Whitcomb
Second Place Middle Division Global Issues Team Competition and Action Plan Presentation: NHHS freshmen Julia Bujalski, Allie Carroll, Nichole Ciccarelli and Brynne MacDonnell
Individual Global Issues Competition Senior Division Champion: junior Victor Wang
Individual Global Issues Competition Junior Division Champion: sixth grader Hillary Hoyt, as coached by Paul Castiglione
Junior Division Scenario Writing Champion: fifth grader Claire Fresher – whose story was “Together and Apart” — as coached by Christian Gott.
Other North Haven students placing at the state competition were:
Third Place Senior Global Issues Team Competition: juniors Haya Awwad, Molly Falkowski, Dushalla Suruj-Narain and sophomore Alyssa Wilczynski
Third Place Junior Global Issues Team Competition: sixth graders Maiia Annunziato, Sejal Atluru, Olivia Irons and Genevieve Richardson, as coached by Paul Castiglione
Second Place Senior Global Issues Individual: senior Charlie Hoyt
Third Place Senior Global Issues Individual: junior Parker Heyl
Second Place Middle Global Issues Individual: sophomore Jesse Morrow
Third Place Middle Global Issues Individual: sophomore Bryne MacDonnell
Second Place Junior Global Issues Individual: sixth grader Olivia Hoyt, as coached by Paul Castiglione
Third Place Senior Scenario: junior Haya Awaad for her story “Inheritance,” as coached by Dan O’Brien
Second Place Junior Scenario: Maia Annunziato, for “The Hijacking of Susairial 7249,” as coached by Pam Kendrick
Third Place Junior Scenario: Grace Gillolly, for “Asthma Victims Strike Back,” coach Christian Gott
First Place Senior Zippy Team Competition: sophomores Julie Cheung and Amelia Hoyt
Conference T-Shirt Design Competition: senior Jake Biller, Juniors Jennifer Royka and Evelyn Fisher
Costs for this year’s International Competition (including transportation, rooms and food) are expected to be $1,100 per student. Students and the C.L.A.P.S. parent support group have been raising money to fund the trip. If you would like to help, please send your contributions to C.L.A.P.S. c/o Tom Marak at North Haven High School 221 Elm Street North Haven CT 06473. Make checks payable to NHHS-C.L.A.P.S.
For more information about the conference, students or the FPS Program, please contact Tom Marak at North Haven High School (203) 239-1641 ext. 2226 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Future Problem Solving Program of CT. Inc. (860) 632-2843, e-mail FPSPofCT@aol.com or visit the FPS web site FPSPofCT.org
Tom Marak is a social studies teacher and Future Problem Solving coach at North Haven High School.