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School News

The WJHSD high school and middle school future problem solving teams, led by Mr. Andrew Capretto, gifted support teacher at Pleasant Hills Middle School, earned first, second and third place honors at the state-level competition held the weekend of April 21, 2018 in Harrisburg, PA.

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WJHSD high school and middle school future problem solving teams

All of the eight teams representing WJHSD placed among the top six in the state and earned an invitation to the Future Problem Solving International Conference at the University of Wisconsin in Lacrosse, Wisconsin where they will compete with students from around the U.S. and all over the world.

Founded by creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) stimulates critical and creative thinking skills, encourages students to develop a vision for the future, and prepares students for leadership roles.

Students must conduct their own research to learn about global issues and efforts to resolve the issue. With a firm understanding of the scope of the problem, students enter the competition where they are presented with a one-page hypothetical portrayal of what the future might look like. In under two hours, students must complete six writing-intensive, creative, problem-solving steps to arrive at the best possible solution to the specific problem they are presented.

The six steps include identify challenges, select an underlying problem, create solutions, develop criteria, evaluate solutions, and synthesize an action plan, and are designed to be tools not only for this competition but for any problem-solving endeavor.

The competition rewards creativity, the ability to think of a variety of different ideas; flexibility, the ability to approach problems from different angles; and fluency, the ability to generate many ideas. Every year, students learn more about world issues and the interconnection of social, political, and technological factors.

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