Northside FPS Sweeps State Bowl
By Maya Gorman
On Friday, April 5, the Future Problem Solvers Club competed in the state FPS competition held in Normal, Illinois. “We were successful and everyone did well,” said Pooja Patel, Adv. 901. There are two major competitions in the FPS competition as a whole, which each group has to participate in.
First, there is the written competition, in which teams have three hours to come up with and present solutions to problems they create involving the prompt they are given. “This year’s topic was coping with stress,” said Patel, “and our winning solution involved CRISPR, a gene editing tool used in solving genetic diseases.” The second part is the oral competition, in which students have two and a half hours to prepare, consists of students making their own props and performing their best solution to a panel of judges. “I know it seems like a lot of time, but it really isn’t, and it goes by fast,” said Patel.
When asked about the group’s success this year, Patel elaborated and said “My team, Yanpeng Wang (Adv. 911), Albert Lee (Adv. 002), and Lyla Bariso (Adv. 002), placed first in the Orals competition. Kate Sawin (Adv. 003) placed first in the Individual Written competition and will be going to Internationals.”
The freshmen team, which consisted of Gregor McKenzie, Adv. 208, Elizabeth Onofre, Adv. 207 and Noah Villalon, Adv. 205, earned third place in the Orals competition and fourth place in the Written competition. The team of Olivia Tavas, Adv. 006, Zoe Myatt, Adv. 003, Kara Beigh, Adv. 007, and Kate Sawin got sixth in the Orals competition and third in the Written competition. While the team of Ensar Biscevic, Adv. 005, Paul Dylag, Adv. 003, Edgar Castillo, Adv. 006, and Maddie Yu, Adv. 006, placed sixth in the Written competition.
When asked about their improvement from last year, Patel said “I think we did improve from last year. We did have some difficulty with the Oral competition last year. However, the entire process from initial preparation to actually presenting went very smoothly this time around, and the fact that we ended up getting 1st place was really unexpected, but nice.”
When asked about her continued involvement with FPS, Patel stated that “I definitely think that the lessons and skills that I learned while participating in FPS will continue to be important - even if I don’t compete in competitions. There are also FPS affiliates in the places I will be going to college so if given the opportunity, I would be completely willing to help out as an evaluator or volunteer for an event.”