A St Cuthbert’s College student has been busy solving the world’s problems.
Elizabeth Huang placed 1st in the International Future Problem Solving Competition in June in the United States.
The 15-year-old competed in the individual booklet category in the Middle Division and was up against other high school students from all over the world.
Elizabeth has competed for the past three years and travelled to the international competition with a St Cuthbert’s team in 2011.
Last year was her first year competing individually and she placed 1st in New Zealand. This year she travelled to the US with the Kristin School team.
Future Problem Solving is a rigorous academic programme involving research and understanding of a large global scale issue. This year’s topic was the Global Status of Women, which Elizabeth researched and read reports about.
Students are given a future scenario and must come up with an action plan to solve the problem the scenario contains. They apply a six-step problem solving process to the scene and tackle the social, scientific, political, economic and technological issues involved.
Elizabeth’s ‘solution’ to problems associated with the status of women was an exchange programme, where men and women swap places so men learn and understand the discrimination women can face.
Competing in the Individual Booklet category means Elizabeth has to complete the six-step process by herself in just two hours – it’s probably the most challenging of the very academic FPS programme. She says the best part of the competition is meeting people from all other the world and seeing their approach to different problems: “It’s been an eye-opening experience”.