This Week's Message from the Primary Division

AISHK invited to the Australian National Finals for Future Problem Solving

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that a team of four AISHK students have qualified for the Australian National Finals of the Future Problem Solving Program. The students representing our school at the National Final in Melbourne are Georgiana Durack, Darby Carroll, Ella Coxon and Solomon Lumb.

It is also very important to recognise our other AISHK team of Ruby Jones, George Martin, Natasha Wong and Brandon Tong. This team also reached a very high level. They were unlucky to miss out on a finals opportunity. Overall, the student’s determination, teamwork and persistence demonstrated a willingness to go the extra mile and give it their best. I am sure the skills that they have gathered along the way will help them in their future studies.

The Future Problem Solving program is an outstanding enrichment experience with proven ability to challenge and extend bright young minds. It is a cross-disciplinary curriculum activity. This program is an experience in critical, creative and futuristic thinking with an emphasis placed on cooperative, small group learning and the clear concise written communication of ideas. Students also need to be good time managers and solid researchers.

Students involved in the FPS program are challenged to:

  • Think more creatively by becoming involved in activities to increase the flexibility, fluency, originality and elaboration of their thinking
  • Develop research skills needed for the collection of data from past and contemporary sources
  • Relate effectively with others as a member of a team
  • Improve oral and written communication skills
  • Become interested in the future
  • Solve problems by learning and using effectively a six step creative problem-solving process
  • Think critically and analytically about social issues

Working in teams of four and under the guidance of a coach, students need to:

  1. Research background information for the topics
  2. Analyse a future scene based on a topic
  3. Generate multiple possibilities for problems and solutions
  4. Develop appropriate criteria for evaluating and thinking critically about their ideas before describing a plan for implementing their positive, best solution

During the year students have learned to use a 6 step problem-solving model to solve a number of future problems. The steps are below:

  1. Identify challenges and problems
  2. Select an underlying problem
  3. Produce solution ideas
  4. Select criteria to evaluate solution
  5. Apply criteria to select the best solution
  6. Develop an action plan to implement the best solution

The topics in 2016 included:

  • Disappearing Languages
  • Recovering from Natural Disasters
  • The Global Workplace – National Final topic

The first few problems have no time limits and are completed over several sessions. These problems are used to teach the problem-solving model. The last two problems are competitive in nature and have strict guidelines and rules to follow. It is to the great credit of these Future Problem Solving students that they have reached this stage of the competitive program, as it places them in the top echelon of the teams in the Australian Primary division

I would like to wish the team representing AISHK all the best and we look future to hearing about the performance in Australia.

David Shirley | Assistant Principal, Primary