The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

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Future Problem Solvers team secures regional victory

Members of the FPS team with the school flag. From left to right: Rasika Anandakumar (‘25), Vikram Karamsetty (‘26), Arav Maheria (‘26), Rithanya Senthivel (‘25), Kali Gupta (‘25), Gurneel Batra (‘26), Julie Cai (‘25), Shaurya Paul (‘26).

  Following weeks of anticipation over competition results, members of the Future Problem Solvers (FPS) Club jumped in joy as their victory at the FPS Regional Scenario Writing Competition was announced in early February 2024. This  win qualified the club for the statewide competition, which took place on March 16.

      South’s FPS Club is dedicated to intuitive thinking and competes in competitions like the Regional and State Bowl.  In these events, students come up with innovative ideas and solutions to modern day problems, like antibiotic resistance, neurotechnology, and terraforming. All 10 members of the FPS team that qualified for the State Bowl will meet in-person for the first time  in 5 years. 

     “I’ve been competing for FPS for almost 4 years now, and this is my first time actually getting ready to compete without it being on a Zoom call,” said Rithanya Senthilvel (‘25), president of the club.

     Each year, FPS runs three different categories of competition on the following topics: Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS), Community Problem Solving (CMPS,) and Scenario Writing (SW).  

     During GIPS and CMPS competitions, members work either individually or as a team to create an action plan responding to a problem affecting a community or the world, like global warming. SW is a more individual-based competition in which students write short fictional stories related to topics given by FPS leads. These action plans and short stories are both scored by judges with a rubric of practicality, originality, and flexibility. 

   This year, in the SW category students wrote about urbanization and autonomous transportation. Members researched these topics ahead of time and are prepared to create action plans on the more specific details of each topic on the spot. 

  South’s team scored off the charts, securing their win and their ticket to the state level of competition.

     To approach the rubric carefully and achieve one of their best scores yet, FPS had been working towards the competition since the start of the school year.

     “We held weekly meetings and thoroughly analyzed the feedback that we received from our previous practice problems,” said Shaurya Paul (‘25), FPS’s treasurer.

        FPS took to the roads again on March 16, heading to Trenton High School for the State Bowl. The competition brought FPS clubs from different high schools in New Jersey into one hub for scenario-writing and public speaking. 

     “It’s exciting to actually meet your competitors face-to-face and talk to new people,” said Anandakumar. “We didn’t really get the chance to do that in virtual competition.” 

     While the team didn’t place at States, members placed individually. In the individual GIPS competition, Julie Cai (‘25) won second place. For SW, Judy Akel (‘25), Mahitha Thippireddy (‘24), and Sobhika Sampath (‘25), placed first, second, and third places respectively. 

   These members are now preparing for the national competition which will take place at the Kelley School of Business at  Indiana University, from June 5 – 9.

     South’s FPS team has a total of 15 members this year, and are hoping to attract more members with their performance this year. 

     “We’re always looking for new members,” said Senthilvel. “We welcomed a strong batch of sophomores last year and are hoping to attract more freshmen this year.” 

FPS Club meets on Tuesdays in room 900A. 

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