Future Problem Solvers place second statewide
by: Diksha Brambhatt
Nease High School Class of 2014
Special to Historic City News
A team of Nease students is among a select group of problem solvers invited to the prestigious international conference of the 2014 Future Problem Solving Program; involving over 250,000 students annually.
The conference anticipates over 2,200 students from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Turkey, United Kingdom, and most states within the USA who are outstanding creative problem solving champions.
Nease’s Future Problem Solving team consists of eleven students:
Members meet every Friday morning to learn and perfect the six-step problem solving process that is used to confront global issues and write booklets for competitions. This year’s topics for the future scenarios for each booklet included: Social Isolation, Desertification, Surveillance Society and Land Transportation.
This year, nine students went to the Florida Future Problem Solving State Competition in Orlando that had over 600 participants. They competed in a variety of categories, including Global Issues Team and Individual as well as Scenario Writing Team and Individual. These students represented not only Nease High School, but also the entire St. John’s County as the only team from the area. The competition was fierce; some schools bring busloads of competitors each year and many of them have been part of the program since elementary school, whereas Nease’s team members have one to two years of experience.
Still, Nease team took second place in the most competitive category: Senior Global Issues Problem Solving. This earned them the prestigious invitation to attend the International Competition at Iowa State University this June, where the topic will be Space.
All four members of the winning team (Diksha Brahmbhatt, Drashti Brahmbhatt, Lucas Sanders, and Molly Beman) hope to represent both Nease High School and the International Baccalaureate program as they interact with other Future Problem Solvers from around the globe.
The success of the Future Problem Solvers team would not have been possible without its wonderful coaches Jeani Taliaferro and Lynn Harris (co-coach and the northeast district representative for the Florida Future Problem Solving Program), who take time out of their busy schedules to make the drive up to Nease and provide their expertise and support to the team.
Founded by creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, the Future Problem Solving Program stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages students to develop a vision for the future while they develop skills of teamwork, communication, research, critical and creative thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. These skills are applied to situations that are futuristic — but oriented to real life. The competitive aspects of Future Planning Solving are fun, but benefits include learning a process that can be used lifelong.
Photo credits: © 2014 Historic City News contributed photograph by Jeani Taliaferro