Students Soar at Future Problem Solving State Competition

This year, 19 Birchwood 6th-8th grade students placed at the Future Problem Solving (FPS) State Bowl. Each year students compete either in scenario writing - imagining specific problems and solutions the future may hold – or as teams of four or individuals who apply a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, and problem solving. The following students, coached by Helene Debelak, Rebecca Graham, Diane Owen, Jennifer Seward, Allison Noga, and Lorraine Tzeng, placed at the state level:

Junior Division Scenario Writing
Chrysanthi Constantinou (6th grader of Westlake) - 1st place*
Middle Division Scenario Writing
Ayat Jaffar (8th grader) - 1st place*
Haadeya Salman (8th grader) - 2nd place
Joshua Gordon (8th grader) – 3rd place
Manya Raina (8th grader) - 4th place
Joshua Thomas (7th grade) - 5th place
Junior Individual
Danyaal Khan (6th grader) - 2nd place*
Presentation of Action Plan (skit)
Brian Milindi, Zora Asalu, Nelson Kude, Samuel Chen, Jake Zhang - 2nd place
Joshua Gordon, Manya Raina, Ted Alten - 1st place

Junior Division Team Awards
6th graders: Kritika Chahar (Brecksville), Chrysanthi Constantinou, Caleb Alicea (Cleveland), Nathan Chilcote (Cleveland) - 1st place*
Middle Division Team Awards
7th graders: Reeve Vincent, Maliha Nadkarni, Kyle Vaziri, Olivia Kude - 4th place
8th graders: Joshua Gordon, Manya Raina, Ted Alten - 2nd place*

Lorraine Tzeng, who serves as both a Language Arts teacher and FPS coach at Birchwood, reflected on her students' hard work as they learned about the detrimental impact of the "Throw Away Society" and the importance of reducing waste. While she acknowledged their deserving of victory, Tzeng emphasized that the most valuable aspect of the competition was the process of researching and applying the topic to their own lives, which would have a lasting impact beyond the competition itself.
* Invited to the International Conference of FPSPI 
Over 50,000 students participate each year in the competition comprising team and individual Global Issues Problem Solving, team and individual Community Problem Solving, and Scenario Writing. About three percent of those participating in FPS competitions earn an invitation to the International Conference of FPSPI. This year, all the first-place teams and individuals, as well as the second-place team of the Middle Division, will be moving on to the International Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from June 7th-11th.