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Rangi Ruru Year 11’s - Future Problem Solving National Champ

Rangi Ruru Year 11’s - Future Problem Solving National Champions

Last weekend saw the culmination of a year of hard work by Future Problem Solving teams from all over the country and this year, the Rangi Ruru Year 11 team was named National Champions.

They will head to the FPS World Championships in Wisconsin, USA next year where they will join the best teams in the world to compete on the international stage.

This year, two Rangi Ruru senior teams qualified for Future Problem Solving National Finals and the third senior team, student-coached by Jocelyn Bradley, got to the second round evaluation. As well as the team winning the national title, the other team to make it to the finals came a notable 3rd.

Dave Hullen, Rangi Ruru’s Digital Technologies Teacher says the girls in all teams worked exceptionally hard all year and as they are also preparing for exams, it’s been a very busy time for them.

“The two teams competing for Nationals beat some really difficult competition to come out with these results and they’re justifiably proud of themselves. As well as competing, Jocelyn also coached, and two Year 12 team members have been helping with the preparation and evaluation, giving back to FPS in which they have become extremely skilled. Exams are now forefront for them all,” says Mr Hullen.

It’s pretty gnarly stuff too as far as subject matter is concerned. Dave Hullen says over the last 10 months the teams have become subject matter experts in space debris, genetic modification, and 3D printing through intensive research and applying the rigorous problem-solving techniques of FPS.

The National Finals competition topic was Identity Theft, and the scenario was set in 2036 where identity theft had become a cause of major suffering for its victims. Dave Hullen explains further.

“The scene was further set with the information that thieves and hackers were stealing innocent people’s (including children’s) biometric identification data and using it to empty bank accounts and commit crimes. The Year 12 team's eventual preferred solution, of the 16 they had to come up with, was an ‘Enigma Code’ defense for personal information that could only be unlocked through brain synapse recognition, and the Year 11's solution involved an Identity Rose in which personal information could be coded to the Rose’s genetic information and thereby kept safe,” he says.

Clearly there’re some very challenging problems being solved with equally amazing ideas from young people who are applying their critical thinking skills to things that one day may in fact be reality.

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