Despite the very real challenges facing our world, there is a corps of
local students determined to do something about them. Fifth graders
Connor Benway, Peter Cagnina, Sophie Duncan, John Chase Huddleston and
Kaity McCullough are "Future Problem Solvers" and part of an
international competitive program that challenges students to do more
than wish for change, and instead plan how to make it happen.
Future Problem Solving is a year-long educational program in which teams of students are challenged to solve problems related to topics of global significance. The process emphasizes rational thought, creativity, research and teamwork. Approximately 200,000 students from all 50 states, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and several other countries take part in this intellectually demanding program.
At the VA State FPS Bowl in Suffolk VA, 38 teams competed for the chance to solve these very real problems at the junior, middle, and senior level. This year's theme was "Trade Barriers" and students were challenged to resolve an international economic crisis stemming from one country's abrupt reinstatement of protectionist policies. After grueling hours spent crafting their plan and presenting it to the judges, this quintet from Amelia, Chesterfield and Powhatan Counties, stood shocked and smiling, proudly holding the huge Junior Division Championship Trophy!
The win was an exceptional achievement, but for the OWLS team, the real challenge lies ahead. These problem solving students are energetically engaged in fundraising so they can compete as Virginia's representatives at the Future Problem Solvers International Bowl in Bloomington, Indiana in mid-June. There they will take on the daunting theme of Pharmaceuticals. Needless to say, the OWLS would greatly appreciate your help in making their dream of competing at the International Bowl a reality.