Future Problem Solving Team News


Going for gold

 On the first weekend of term4 , the 28-30 October 2011, our team competed in the National FPS exam. We came first in our division, and we are now fundraising for a trip to America to take on the world in an International FPS Examination!

The Competition - Our Final Post

July 16, 2012

Well 3 of the FPS girls, their parents and I are back from the USA. We never had a podium finish, as we had been hoping for, but the girls felt, after their exam, that they had done their best, especially under the weight of intense competition.

On the first leg of our journey, we flew into San Francisco and caught a connecting flight to Chicago, where we stayed for 3 days. It was a beautiful city - lots of lovely gardens, it was clean and we only saw one lot of graffiti. The girls loved shopping on "The Magnificient Mile" (a famous street) and the people were very friendly and helpful - even the homeless!!

After 3 days of rest and relaxation in Chicago, we hired a 12-seater van to Indiana. There were lots of laughs, as well as tension, on this journey - especially when the GPS system told us to go north when we were meant to be going south!! In the end, we abandoned the GPS system and relied on some printed Google Map instructions, which fortunately one of the dads had downloaded!

On the way south, we stopped off at a "Dennys" for a meal, and it felt a little like being in a Hill-billies show! "Grits" was on the menu, which even the waitress confessed to not having ever eaten! We avoided it!! At the University - a couple of hours further south - there was a cashier who wore a hairnet!!! I didn't even think that those things could be bought anymore!!! It reminded me of Enid Sharples off Coronation Street!

Indiana University was lovely. The town is really a little village built around the University, which is often the case at many American universities! The varsity was spread out over lots of hectares, in park-like settings (complete with squirrels and chipmonks!!), and was made up of lime-stone slab buildings which are about 160 years old. Limestone is common in the area. As is typical at American universities, there were ALL the facilities. Besides the actual university, there was a gridiron stadium, which seated 180 000+ people, several swimming pools, indoor softball stadium (full-sized pitch under cover), and a huge basketball complex, which had tiered seating to such dizzying heights that I refused to go to the top!! Even the girls were apparently treading VERY carefully (and considering that they seemed to have NO fear of any ride at Disneyland, which we visited before we returned home, I found this very intriguing).

After the girls had sat their booklet competition, they came out of the exam quite euphroric. They thought that they had done a great booklet. I was very happy for them, as all I have ever asked of them is that they do their BEST! They next day, I looked at some components of their booklet, and realised that they had "missed the boat"! It was not in a huge way, but it was enough for them to lose BIG marks because they hadn't re-read the SPECIFIC TASK which they were asked to achieve so they had spun off onto another connected, but not related-enough task to give them the marks which they required!!! The night before the prize-giving, I gathered the girls together to tell them that they wouldn't have a podium finish! I debated all day what to do, but the adults and I decided it was better to tell them before the prize-giving rather than them find out that they hadn’t achieved well at the prize-giving. There were tears as soon as the girls had realised what they had done!!

Much of their stress was due to accepting that not only had they let themselves down, but they had also let a lot of other people down, including me, the school, their parents and the community who had invested SO much time and money to getting them to the United States.

On the afternoon, after they had written their booklet, they needed to produce a dramatic presentation of their booklet. We had done a lot of preparation for this, before we left New Zealand, and even though their dramatic presentation was "heads and shoulders" above the opposition, penalty points for going over time, plus a mis-quote of a compulsory quote and a penalty over what was considered to be a costume, under the rules, cost the girls 15 penalty points - which put them out of contention for another podium finish!! This also added to their disappointment.


After our disappointments at the International Conference in Bloomington, Indiana, we flew, via Indianapolis, to Los Angeles where we spent a day or two at Disneyland, and after, two of the four girls visited Universal Studios. The atmosphere of Disneyland was just what we all needed to melt away our sadness about not achieving success at Indiana.


So near and yet so far!!! The girls have recovered bravely. They have learned a hard lesson about resilience and accepting that everything in life may not always go the way that we want it to go.

Maybe that is the most important lesson which they could learn from their BIG International experience!



Our Last Report

June 4, 2012

Our Last Report Before Flying to the USA.

By the time that you read this report we (the four FPS girls, me, our chaperone and two Supporter-Dads) will be at Indiana University, in the United States, in readiness for “The Girls” big International Competition at 9.00 on Friday morning (2.00am Saturday, NZ time). After sitting that booklet examination, four hours later, “The Girls” will present a prepared dramatic presentation to demonstrate the outcomes of their booklet! High intensity...

Continue reading...

May 21 - An update from Chelsie

May 21, 2012

Hello everyone! It’s Chelsie here, reporting again to you on our progress towards preparing for our trip to Indiana. A few more thanks need to be brought up to-date. The first is for Matamata New World, and Matamata Paper Plus, who are very kindly donating some of their products for us to use in the creation of props for our dramatic presentation; a division which we will compete in, in the States. Second, we would like to reinforce our thanks to Plumb Co, and remind everyone to get their b...

Continue reading...

Thanks for Reading our Page

May 21, 2012

Thanks for reading our page!  We would like to especially thank The Rotary Club of Matamata, David and Cheryl King and all the businesses, who advertise on this page, for their generosity. 

Hi, I’m Talia Parker and this week, it is my turn to update you on what we are up to at the moment.  June is fast approaching and we are so grateful because we are also getting very close to our fundraising goal! Thank you to the people who have stopped in Arawa St, wished us luck, and bought tickets i...

Continue reading...

Update from Chelsie

May 21, 2012

Hello! I’m Chelsie and it looks like it’s my turn to report to you this week. First off, I would like to e thank everyone who came and supported us in our third “Step Back In Time” movie experience. It is always so wonderful to see the community getting behind us in our fundraising! To conclude this movie series, we will be hosting a fourth and final movie screening, ‘Can’t Help Singing’ on the 29th of April at the Matamata Musical Theatre. Once again, tickets can be bought at F...

Continue reading...

Less than 3 months to go!

March 25, 2012

Hey everyone! It’s Awhina here, and I can’t believe it’s less than 3 months now until the big trip to the United States of America! Our fundraising is going well, with our most recent activity being a screening of the movie, “Three Daring Daughters”, for our “Step Back in Time” experience. It was great to see people who enjoyed the first film so much, that they came back and watched our second screening, and are now eager to attend our third movie screening! The next “Step Bac...

Continue reading...

FPS Progress report 7 March 2012

March 14, 2012

Time flies when you are busy with FPS practise and fundraising and I can’t believe it’s time for me, Nicole, to write again. We are settling into the routine of balancing regular school work with Saturday trips to our teacher , in Papamoa, to train for our FPS competition. The commitment is huge, not only for us but for those around us! We are continuing to sell raffle tickets, for our pig raffle, at $5 a ticket, and we are looking forward to another Movie screening of “Three Darling Da...

Continue reading...
Make a Free Website with Yola.