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. These kids were the first homeschoolers in the history of Virginia’s Bowl to win.
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, who meet weekly in an eight family co-op, stood shocked and smiling, proudly holding the huge Junior Division Championship Trophy!
The win was an exceptional achievement, but for the OWLS team (Other Ways of Learning), 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.
If you or your co-op is interested in the Future Problem Solving program you can get in touch with Kristi McCullough via email at McKristi@aol.com. If you are interested in supporting this team of children, you can visit their fund raising page on GoFundMe.
Congratulations to OWLS!
VaHomeschoolers loves to spotlight their members’ efforts and achievements. If your child has participated in something noteworthy, either individually or with a group, let us know. We’d love to hear about it and share the information with everyone.