Posted in News, Personal Stories

Future Problem Solvers Regionals!

A little while ago I attended a Future Problem Solvers (FPS) competition. Keep reading to find out how it went! At a FPS competition, you have to solve a packet in a team of four during the two-hour time limit. This packet includes a scenario. The scenario takes place in the future and is about the pre-assigned topic. To solve this packet you complete six steps. Here they are!

1: This is my best and favorite step. This is the step where you identify all of the problems in the scenario with 1-3 sentences about each problem. You have to complete 10-1 6 of these.

2: In this step you choose the main underlying problem; such as civilian casualties or a decrease in national/financial security.

3: In this step you come up with solutions for your main problem. like step one each is 1-3 sentences and you must have 12-16 of these.

4: This is the step where you create criteria for your step threes.

5: This is the step where you grade your step threes based on your criteria.

6: In this step you write about six paragraphs about your best step three.

After all of this (remember, you & your team have to do that in only two hours) you and your team begin on your oral presentation or skit. A skit is a performance displaying how your solution will work to all of the other teams in your division.

Now you know what happens let’s talk about what happened at regionals this year!

So when I got to the competition I felt incredibly nervous, even though I knew deep down that it would be fine. Then there was a quick speech about FPS and how the day was going to go down. Then, it was packet time. My team and I walked into the room and found our table. By this point, I was REALLY nervous! When we hear the word “go” we all snatch the packet and read the scenario. The next ten minutes are absolutely silent expect for a few people gasping and sounding worried.

For a long time, I just did step ones and a few threes. When it came time, I wrote step four and five (which I’m not really that good at). I really can’t write much about the packet because I can’t remember what happened. After we finished the packet we met with a parent and talked about our skit while we ate pizza. Then we acted our the skit. Once we got approval from our coach (who is THE BEST COACH EVER), we started to get to work on our props. One person was wrapped in tinfoil, I had a creepy mask on, and a lot of other strange props were made.

Then we presented our skit to the rest of the teams in our division and the judges. Then we helped clean up and went home. After a little over a week, the results came back at around 10:00. Beforehand I was Instagram messaging one of my teammates about weather or not we would make it. I personally was pretty sure we wouldn’t. I had just put my sheets on the floor and prepared to sleep next to my computer while waiting for that faithful email when the email came from my coach.

I scrolled past one or two paragraphs until I found what teams had made it. There I saw four team names, including ours (which is Retitled (last years was Untitled)). That meant that we had made it to the state competition. Unfortunately, one of our school’s teams didn’t make it to state.

Only last week did our packets come back. It had mixed reviews. My step ones and threes all made it into the top two categories. Step four wasn’t as good, though. Overall I saw that there was a lot of work that our team needed to do before state in order to do well. Aside from the packet itself, There was also the skit scoring sheet. Our skit got 1st place in our division! I think we could get 1st place in skits at state like we did last year!

I can’t wait until state, and I’ll be sure to write about it after the competition in April. Thanks for reading!

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