Avondale Schools_USE THIS

June competition to be held at Iowa State University; Avondale students returning to international competition for second, third and fourth time

Media Contact: Sue Briggs, Avondale Schools, 248.537.6041, susan.briggs@avondale.k12.mi.us; Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 586.817.8414, barbara@eafocus.com

Auburn Hills, Mich. —April 29, 2014—- Avondale School District, an achievement-oriented learning community focused on student leadership and success in academics, the arts and athletics, is pleased to announce four Avondale High School juniors have been invited to attend the 2014 International Future Problem Solving Competition at Iowa State University from June 12 to 15. The students are: Carly Gomez of Troy, daughter of Paul and Kim Gomez; Maria Petrusha of Troy, daughter of Bill and Laurie Petrusha; Maddy Smith of Troy, daughter of David and Debbie Smith; and Lauren Wojtowicz of Rochester Hills, daughter of Brad and Linda Wojtowicz. The Future Problem Solving Competition stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages students to develop a vision for the future.

At the Michigan Future Problem Solving Program’s state competition at Michigan State University on March 28, the Avondale team earned first place trophies in the Presentation of Best Solutions skit competition. They were also named the state’s second place senior booklet writing team, which earned them the invitation to the International competition in June.

According to Laura Phou, who has coached the Future Problem Solving team at Avondale High School since 2000, this is not the first time the girls have placed at the state competition and continued on to internationals.

“I am very proud of the girls’ dedication and hard work to the Future Problem Solvers Program,” said Phou. “This will be Maddy’s second time, Maria and Lauren’s third time and Carly’s fourth time attending the international competition. The skills and experience they are gaining through this program are invaluable. I have no doubt they will continue to represent the Avondale community well at the international level.”

The first practice problem the team addressed this year was the concept of Social Isolation, determining if this trend is increasing or decreasing and what can be done for greater co-existence. The second practice problem was Desertification, where desert-like conditions exist in regions, often as a cause of human interaction with the environment. The qualifying problem was Surveillance Society, examining the use of closed-circuit television cameras both indoors and outdoors and the potential effects they have on privacy and security in our society. The state competition problem was Land Transportation, examining what the future will look like for individual and commercial transportation systems considering developments such as hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles.

This year’s international competition theme is Space. The Avondale students will write a six-step booklet to address a fictional future scene related to the topic and then prepare and perform a skit to act out their best solution.

About Future Problem Solving Program International
Future Problem Solving Program International engages students in creative problem solving. Founded in 1974 by creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, FPSPI stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages students to develop a vision for the future. Students experience the excitement of creative thinking and the thrill of resolving complex problems with unique solution ideas when they participate in FPSPI. Competitions like Future Problem Solving Program International allow academically talented students the opportunity to showcase their creative skills in much the same way that sporting events showcase star athletes. Future Problem Solving Program International charters Affiliate Programs throughout Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. To learn more about the Future Problem Solving Program, visit http://www.fpspi.org/.

About Avondale School District
The Avondale School District is a collaborative community of teachers, staff and families working together to assure student success. The district, encompassing portions of Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Township, Troy and Rochester Hills, celebrates the richness of a diverse student population and strives to be a model school community that prepares students to be lifelong learners and contributing citizens to the world that awaits them upon graduation. Learn more about Avondale Schools, an AdvancED accredited district, at www.avondale.k12.mi.us.