Problem solvers, deep thinkers and award winners
Emanuel School students, Ruby Brody and Eden Levit, have been awarded first place in the National Finals of the Future Problem Solving (FPS) Program’s Community Problem Solving Competition (Senior Division). FPS is an interdisciplinary program that encourages young adults to develop problem solving strategies through collaboration, and critical and creative thinking.
As a result of their win, the Year 10 pair have been invited to attend the prestigious 2022 FPS Program International Conference in America.
The FPS’s Community Problem Solving Program sees students identify and develop a workable solution to a contemporary issue. Ruby and Eden, who have been developing their project since May, teamed up to select a real-world problem, identify a solution, and then actively implement an action plan to address the matter.
Changing the culture
Their subject of interest saw them critically evaluate the normalisation of sexual assault, posing the question: “How might we change the culture of peer-on-peer sexual assault in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, so that teenagers not only recognise the dangers of ‘rape culture,’ but lead the conversation about sexual assault and consent, so that the mentality towards sexual activity changes and enthusiastic consent is made the priority…”.
In response to the identified problem, Ruby and Eden developed a social media plan targeting Sydney’s eastern suburbs adolescents “with the intent to rewrite the culture of peer-on-peer sexual assault so that the mentality towards sexual activity changes to become respectful of another’s body, and where consent is always asked”.
The Instagram account that the students developed showed immediate results and traction beyond their initial expectations. Ruby reported: “I really enjoyed how we were able to have input from other teenagers and seeing their interactions with the account… the issue that Eden and I were addressing resonated with so many teenagers, so much so that people contacted us, offering any support with the account and reposted our content to their own accounts to spread the word.”
Whilst their win has tangible benefits for both students, it was the results of their actions that were particularly impactful, with Eden commenting that being able to empower others and receive positive feedback was extremely rewarding.
In addition to her success in the Community Problem Solving Program division, Eden placed first in the FPS Scenario Performance (Individual) – Senior Division, along with Maayan Granot, who placed third. The students were required to submit a five-minute futuristic storytelling performance on the topic of Personalised Medicine. Eden’s creativity and ability to extend herself beyond her comfort zone were validated with her final result. “The competition required the use of multiple characters and I had to create several personalities and accents. This was by far the most creative and enjoyable aspect of the story-writing process”.
Willow Gelin, Year 9, came in the top three in the Community Problem Solving Competition (Individual) – Middle Division with her critical evaluation and solutions to the issue of teenage gambling.
The problem solving and critical and creative thinking aspects of the FPS competitions help engage, challenge and extend high potential and gifted students.
Nineteen students represented Emanuel School in the FPS competition series and we commend their determination, dedication and enthusiasm, despite the barriers created by COVID, along with Craig Moss, Co-ordinator of Gifted & Talented 7-12, who coached the students to success.
Written by Michelle Favero, Manager, Marketing and Communications
Students had to produce a five minute futuristic storytelling performance based on one of the following topics – youth in competitive sports, wearable technology or human impact on the environment. The best performances made the National Final.
- Eden Levit (Year 10) produced an engaging storytelling performance. The futuristic story she created was based on youth in competitive sports. The evaluator commented, ‘what a story and what an ending’ – BetzBreedz
- Maayan Granot (Year 10) produced a powerful storytelling performance. The futuristic story she created was based on the human impact on the environment. The evaluator commented that it was a ‘relevant story, beautifully presented and a joy to watch’. They particularly loved the idea that individuals can bring about change – The time is now
For the National Final they had to produce a 5 minute futuristic storytelling performance based on Personalised Medicine.
Eden came 1st and Maayan came 3rd in the Senior division.
The students had to write a short, futuristic story that was creative, entertaining and related to one of this year’s FPSP topics (youth in competitive sports, wearable technology or human impact on the environment). The best stories qualified for the National Final.
- Ashley Cohn (Year 8) produced a gripping and engaging story about wearable technology. The evaluator commented that it was an, ‘exceptional piece of writing’ – The Outlaws
For the National Final, Ashley wrote a story based on a given futuristic scene about personalised medicine.
- Ashley Cohn (Year 8) – prosthetic pirouette
- Ashley did not finish in the top 3 but did extremely well to make the National Final in a very competitive division.
Community Problem Solving
Starting in Term 2, the students had to select a real world problem, identify a solution, and then actively implement their action plan to address the problem. The best proposal qualified for the National Final.
- Eden Levit and Ruby Brody (Year 10) teamed up together to tackle the normalisation of sexual assault – Re-write the Culture
- Willow Gelin (Year 9) looked to address the problem of teenage gambling – Kaleidoscope Teens
For the National Final they submitted a final report, portfolio and promotional video, as well as attend an interview.
- Eden Levit and Ruby Brody
- Willow Gelin
- Eden and Ruby came 1st in the team senior division.
- Willow came 3rd in the individual middle division.
Global Issues Problem Solving Competition
We also entered three teams into the very competitive and challenging Global Issues Problem Solving competition. For this competition students were required to identify the problems/challenges of a futuristic scenario, come up with solutions and create an action plan for their best solution. Although they did not qualify for the National Finals this year, the students involved have learned and practiced powerful problem-solving that engaged their critical and creative thinking. It can take a couple of years to get up to speed with the demands of this competition.
- Years 7/8 FPS Team – Boaz Simhi, Dylan Vitek, Jake Isenberg, Niek Nathan
- Year 8 FPS Team – Liberty Waldner, Daniel Newfield, Ariel Bloom, Elias Davis, Jack Fridman
- Year 10 FPS Team – Jake Newfield, Jake Sharp, Arielle Melamed, Jamie Schneider and Aiden Sheps.