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Templeton Future Problem Solvers earn state awards

Templeton Middle School’s sixth grade Future Problem Solving (FPS) team earned first and second place awards at state competition April 21-23 in Oconomowoc. Paula Myatt, Julie Posh, Michael Yu and Zachary Dowlding took first place for creation of a banner that represented their team and highlighted the problem of “Depletion of Ocean Species.” The team also took second place for the 2-hour academic competition portion of the event.

Future Problem Solving, is a year-long educational program in which students learn a six-step problem solving process and apply it to future situations. Goals of the program are to encourage students to become more creative in their thinking, develop richer images of the future, increase their research skills, learn cooperative teamwork skills and increase their written and verbal communication skills.

Templeton FPS advisor Sherry Malmon said the students did a terrific job in the state competition among more than 50 other teams. Their creative banner included a coral reef and scuba divers playing “Go Fish” with a deck of cards of endangered ocean species. Divers and fish in the banner are shown with messages encouraging people to protect ocean species.

In the academic competition, students brainstormed 16 solutions, chose the 10 strongest and wrote five criteria questions to help them rank their solutions. They then wrote an action plan for what they decided was their best solution.

Because students knew in advance that the topic of the state competition would be “Depletion of Ocean Species,” they were able to research the topic. They attended the IMAX movie “Coral Reef” and had an expert from the Sea Grant Institute talk to them.

“It’s great to see that their hard work paid off,” Malmon said.

The team also had a strong performance of their skit which was a take-off of a “Dr. Phil” show.

FPS involves more than 200,000 students in 47 states, two Canadian provinces and three foreign countries. In Wisconsin, 140 teams from 40 school districts participated during the school year.