For many years, Harker’s Future Problem Solving program has proven invaluable to students in grades 6-12 who wish to engage in global issues while also developing their research and critical analysis skills. This year, the program was expanded to the lower school in the form of a grade 5 club to help prepare students for involvement in middle school.
The program is off to a good start, according to lower school English teacher Scott Murphy, who currently advises the lower school’s FPS club.
The club mainly serves to familiarize students with the procedure of FPS competitions. “In club, students practiced the different parts of the procedure and exercised creative and critical thinking skills,” said Murphy. FPS competitions typically deal with real-life or near-future scenarios, such as environmental or economic issues. By contrast, the lower school FPS club is “focused more on fairy tale scenarios, like what would happen if Robin Hood left Sherwood Forest and what becomes of Goldilocks’ reputation after the incident with the three bears,” Murphy said.
These club sessions act as precursors for “practice problem” sessions held on weekends, where the students practice solving problems in an environment simulating a real FPS competition, led by middle and upper school students.