Future Problem Solvers
After their fantastic success at State level last term, 18 boys from Years 6 and 7 travelled to Queensland earlier this month to take on the best future problem solvers in the country – and seven Year 7 boys came home with a place.
Future Problem Solving is an international programme that focuses on developing critical and futuristic thinking as well as creative thinking skills. It has been operating in Australia for more than 20 years, but was introduced to Christ Church’s Year 6s and 7s just this year.
At the recent national championships, the Christ Church team of Brendon Wright, James Harken, Jon Sweeney and Jimmy Lac finished an impressive fourth in the main competition. In the alternate competition, Christ Church boys were placed into teams with other schools from around Australia. Brandon Afiat and Chris Tay were in the team that won, while David Latham was in the team that finished second and Abhi Menon was in the team that finished third.
Year 6/7 Co-ordinator Brad Hilliard, who is coaching the programme at Christ Church as part of academic extension, said he was very impressed with how the boys performed. “It’s a great result,” Mr Hilliard said. “All the boys have put in a lot of effort.
“Over the year the boys have learnt the advanced six-step process as well as researching topics such as cyber crime, space junk and aspects of the counterfeit economy. Having been given the topic of counterfeit economy for the nationals, some of the boys were studying on the plane on the way over and were up very early studying in their rooms before the competition.”
Mr Hilliard said the boys enjoyed the challenge of the competition. “The benefit is that the boys get to work co-operatively with like-minded learners across several subjects which are linked to so many different areas. It enables the boys to be challenged and engaged in a competition setting.”
Mr Hillard said he would continue the programme in the Prep School next year as part of academic extension and was also looking to introduce it into the Senior School.
“Future Problem Solving can be delivered to students of all ages with the competitive aspect of the programme aimed at able middle primary up to our very brightest Year 12 students.”
Mr Hilliard, along with Learning Development Centre Co-ordinator Helen Adams and Peter Moyes Centre Preparatory School Co-ordinator Wayne Revitt, accompanied the boys to the Gold Coast. Mr Hilliard said a highlight was the closing ceremony at Sea World, where dolphins were performing in the background.