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Area 5th Graders Win FPS Competition

Group of 5th Graders from Amelia, Chesterfield and Powhatan counties win prestigious Future Problem Solving competition

Connor Benway, Peter Cagnina, Sophie Duncan, John Chase Huddleston and Kaity McCullough emerged as the winning team in Junior Division at the recent 2012 Virginia Future Problem Solvers competition.  Future Problem Solving is a competition in which students are challenged to develop solutions to some of the real world’s most vexing problems. This international program empowers students to do more than just wish for change – they can show the world how to make it happen.  The problem solving process emphasizes rational thought, creativity, research and teamwork. This process is learned through a year-long educational program in which students have the opportunity to solve problems related to topics of global significance. Approximately 200,000 students from all 50 states, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and several other countries take part in this intellectually demanding program.

In the 2012 state bowl, held in Suffolk, VA, teams were challenged to tackle the issue of  “Trade Barriers.” Teams developed strategies and plans to resolve an international economic crisis stemming from one country’s abrupt reinstatement of protectionist policies and the resulting tailspin in international relations, trade, and global security.

Past competitions have focused on developing solutions to issues such as Invasive Species, Cyber Conflict, Genetic Testing, and Emergency Planning.

Connor, Peter, Sophie, John Chase and Kaity’s achievement came after a grueling day spent grappling with the problem, crafting their solution and then, perhaps most stressful of all, presenting their plan to the judges. Their win was an exceptional achievement, but this group of ambitious 5thgraders hopes it’s just the start. The team is entitled to represent Virginia at the Future Problem Solvers International Bowl, hosted this year in Bloomington, IN. To make this dream a reality, the students, their parents and supporters are energetically engaged in raising funds … in the hope that they might be the team to most successfully solve the as-yet unannounced problem relating to the general topic of Pharmaceuticals.

The best way that you can support this ingenious group and its efforts to offer solutions to some of the all-too-real problems that challenge our society is by visiting  www.gofundme.com/mhmls to learn more about the team and support them in funding their trip to the International finals in Bloomington, Indiana.

The solution to the world’s problems might be right here in Central Virginia. Make sure this team has their chance to prove it.  Support the team and donate today.

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