Harker’s Future Problem Solvers had another great year, garnering honors at both the state and international levels in April and May.
At the Future Problem Solving (FPS) California state finals, held on the Saratoga campus in April, Harker emerged as the state champion in a remarkable nine of 12 categories, and won the junior division for the very first time. The junior (Madhu Nori, Juhi Muthal, Simran Singh and Tiara Bhatacharya, all Gr. 6), middle (Daniela Lapidous, Akshay Tangutur, Chaitanya Malladi and Laura Yau, all Gr. 9) and senior (Namrata Anand, Sarah Wang, Jeanette Chin and Monisha Dilip, all Gr. 11) teams advanced to the international finals in Michigan.
In a stroke of luck, the second place team of eighth graders Ria Desai, Emily Wang, Pooja Shah and Sonia Gupta was invited to the international finals when one team dropped out due to the swine flu scare.
Two other Harker teams earned high rankings. Ninth graders Jennie Xu, Daanish Jamal, Ananth Subramaniam and Jackie Jin took third, while eighth graders Karan Das Grande, Shelby Rorabaugh, Jacqueline Wang and Connie Cheng earned fourth.
Harker also had the top middle and senior scenario writer, Rorabaugh and Olivia Zhu, Gr. 10. Alex Han, Gr. 11, was the top senior individual contestant, and qualified for the international finals.
For action plan presentations, Harker won at all three levels. Senior presenters were Christopher Berglund, Dominique Dabija, Ananya Anand and Nikhil Raghuram, Gr. 12, and Tim Chou, Gr. 10. Harker’s middle division action plan team was joined by Brian Tuan, Gr. 7, while Allen Huang and Sahana Rangarajan, both Gr. 7, joined the junior team to present their action plan.
Additionally, Cyrus Merrill, MS history teacher, was re-elected to be the state president of the nonprofit organization that runs FPS in the state of California.
At the international finals Michigan, all four Harker teams finished in the top half of their categories. The junior team fell just short of entering the final round, finishing third.
First place wins went to individual competitor Alex Han and to the team of action plan presenters in the senior division: juniors Monisha Dilip, Sarah Wang, Jeanette Chin and Alex Han, and sophomores Isaac Madan and Olivia Zhu. Namrata Anand fell ill and was absent from the finals, but managed to contribute via speakerphone while the team was preparing.
Shelby Rorabaugh, meanwhile, took third place in scenario writing, while Ananth Subramaniam took third in the middle division alternates category.