From June 8 to June 11, 2017, the Maggie L. Walker Future Problem Solvers team competed in the Future Problem Solvers International Competition (FPSIC) in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Maggie Walker sent six students to the FPSIC: Seniors Elizabeth Benos and Sarah Grace Lott, who competed in the Community Problem Solving team competition, and Seniors Kate Cavallero, Clara Giorgis, and Kallia Smith and Freshman Jack Smith, who competed in the Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) competition. Sarah Grace Lott also completed in the GIPS Individual event.
Benos and Lott presented their project “Bridging RPS,” a multi-year collaboration between Maggie L. Walker students and Oak Grove Elementary school in which MLWGS students volunteer for academic tutoring, perform community service, and develop mentoring relationships with a local elementary school.
In the GIPS team competition, MLWGS students responded to a scenario that asked them to identify the underlying problem in a futuristic scenario and then to develop 16 solutions to the problem. Smith, Giorgis, Cavallero, and Smith’s solutions were strong enough to earn them 4th place out of 59 teams in the Senior Division. They competed against teams from almost every state in the Union, as well as teams from Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, The Republic of Georgia, Turkey, and China. The competition was truly world-class. A second Virginia school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, also placed in the top 10, ably representing the state.
The GIPS team also presented their action plan – one potential solution to the scenario’s underlying problem – in a four-minute creative skit that was strong enough to earn them 3rd place among those same 59 international teams. With clever dialogue, dramatic unity, and excellent aluminum foil work, Smith, Georgis, Cavallero, and Smith impressed the judges with their Star Trek-inspired performance.
Future Problem Solvers is coached by Mrs. Celie Boswell but sponsored during this competition by Mr. Ed Coleman.