Future Problem Solving News

Future Problem Solving News

I would like to congratulate a number of girls for their outstanding achievements in Future Problem Solving this term. Future Problem Solving is an exciting extra-curricular activity which encourages students to develop team building skills, think critically about global issues and be creative in generating futuristic solutions. In 2018 over 6000 students from primary and secondary schools across Australia competed in the FPS program and thousands of students from around the world also compete in the program. Over this past year at Loreto we had 28 students from Years 8-11 meeting weekly for FPS training in the Global Issues Program and Scenario Writing.

The first student I would like to recognise is one of our senior students, Swetha Kumar. Swetha was chosen as the NSW recipient of the E Paul Torrance Youth Award for her ongoing contribution to Future Problem Solving. When considering Swetha as a recipient, the Awards Panel was impressed with Swetha’s long and dedicated participation in the FPS program (since Year 7), her involvement in the Global Issues competition as a team member and an individual, her willingness to evaluate the Action Plan skit at Nationals in 2017, her coaching and mentoring of other FPS students at Loreto and for being an advocate for FPS across the school.

This award is quite prestigious as there are only two recipients chosen from across Australia each year and this is the fourth year in a row that a student from Loreto Normanhurst, representing NSW, has won this award. Swetha was congratulated for this award at the FPS Nationals in Melbourne in October as well as in assembly on Wednesday where she was presented with her award by the NSW FPS Convenor, Ms Punam Wahan. I would like to thank Swetha’s mother, Jay for being present at both presentations. Congratulations Swetha!

The second senior student to be recognised for an outstanding achievement is Isabella Mincher. Bella competed in the Scenario Writing Competition where students are asked to write a futuristic narrative on one of the topics for 2018. Bella is to be congratulated for placing first in Australia in the Senior Division for her story ‘Not for Profit’ based on the topic of Philanthrocapitalism. This is an amazing achievement.

Bella also attended the Nationals in Melbourne to receive her award and to compete in a group scenario writing competition. Although her team at Nationals did not place, Bella was awarded Best Writer in the Senior Division and received another award for this. Bella’s original story will automatically be entered into the International Competition against all the top stories in the world and she has received an invitation to the International Conference at the University of Massachusetts in the USA next year. I would like to thank Bella’s mother, Kerrie for being present at both presentations. Congratulations Bella!

Finally, I would also like to recognise the Year 10 Global Issues team who made it through to the National Finals which is a wonderful achievement. Each year a new set of topics is given to us to explore and in 2018 the topics were Spread of Infectious Disease, Toxic Materials, Philanthrocapitalism and Cloud Storage. The girls competing in the Global Issues competition were all enthusiastic in their training, successfully applying the six-step problem solving process to each of the futuristic scenarios on these topics. Congratulations to Esha Arora, Anika Bharadwaj, Maanya Maini and Luka Swain who along with Mr Tyler and Mrs Prees travelled to Melbourne from 19th-21st October to compete against teams from all over Australia. The team had prepared well on the topic of Cloud Storage and they were wonderful representatives for Loreto.

This term we began an Introductory Course for students new to FPS and 22 new students have signed up, meeting at lunch or after school. Already I am impressed with the girls’ ability to think critically about the issue of Educational Disparities across the world. If your daughter is interested in joining FPS it is not too late to come along to the introductory course. Please send me an email if you are interested. New teams will be formed at the beginning of next year and an email will be sent out to all students to invite them to indicate their interest in the FPS program.  

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all students and student coaches for their efforts this year and to thank the teachers who coach the girls for their ongoing commitment to the program: Mr Mark Tyler, Mrs Zoe Rhone, Mrs Flo Calleya-Jones, Mrs Sonia Prees, Ms Erinn McMahon, Ms Michela Pezzi, Ms Hannah Lorizio and Ms Simonetta Cesamolo.


Mrs Robyn Roffey

Future Problem Solving Coordinator