Future Problem Solvers – World Champions!

November 2023 saw four Northcross teams compete in the Future Problem Solving (FPS) National Competition. Our Year 7 students placed first and Year 8’s placed second – outstanding results which earned them the right to represent New Zealand in the Global FPS Competition at Indiana University in June. After dedicating their Sunday’s this year to to refining their processes, researching the topic of Air Quality, zooming with experts in their field and working as a team, they left for America at the beginning of June. Competing in a field of almost 2000 students across junior, middle and senior divisions, we are thrilled to return as the World Junior FPS Global Issues Problem Solving Champions. Congratuations to Yigu Ye, Jason Hao, Izzy Carmichael and Jonathan Xu for winning the Junior Division – an amazing accomplishment.

In the middle division, the team of Alan Li, Andy Yang, Vincent Xu and Alex Xiao placed a fabulous seventh out of approxiamtely 70 teams. While these students have now moved on to college – all in Year 9, we were so proud of the way they represented Northcross at the World FPS competition. A thanks to Mrs Kristin Carmichael for accompanying us as Chaperone and a special congratulations to our FPS coach, Mrs Glenis Martin. Her dedication, expertise and passion have certainly supported our students to amazing heights.

Below, Yigu explains a little of how it felt to earn the championship:

During our time in America for Future Problem Solving Internationals, the whole experience was incredibly wonderful. Before our departure, we had to go through 12 weeks of training, attending classes on Sundays too. In these lessons we would work on our problem-solving skills, tips on writing different parts in the 6 step procedure, and the topic of the whole competition: Air Quality. When we arrived at Indiana University, where the whole competition was held, we ended up meeting various different countries and teams from India to China. We competed in the Junior GIPS, or the Global Issues Problem Solving Competition, with other competitions such as Community Problem Solving and Scenario Writing also taking place. When our team code was called up as Top 10, we all immediately felt a sense of accomplishment with a hint of excitement, knowing that even if we come 10th, it would be an awesome result. As different teams from multiple countries were called out, we were there waiting for our country. When we realised we made it into Top 3, we were hugging each other and laughing hysterically, until our team code was called up for 1ST PLACE where we were so pumped when we walked onto the stage, representing New Zealand and all the hard work paying off. 

In regards to the activities were did before settling into the university, we spent our first few days in Chicago, where we visited many extraordinary places such as the Museum Of Science And Technology where we saw an artificial tornado spinning, The Bean, and The Tilt, where a platform slowly tilts outward to an adventurous angle, generating downward-facing views of Chicago. The Hop On Hop Off Bus was also an enjoyable experience as we made our way throughout the city gazing at the surrounding architecture. Overall, the experience was a roller coaster with a mixture of excitement, happiness, curiosity and a touch of stressness. Thank you so much Mrs Martin for allowing us to achieve such mind blowing results and thank you Northcross for giving us this experience we will never forget in our lifetime.

Written by Yigu Ye – World FPS Junior Champion

From NX Beacon