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Passionately curious: Wesley students solving problems

Is virtual travel the future? That’s one of the prescient Future Problem Solving 2020 topics Wesley students are investigating; artwork Wacomka/shutterstock

Two teams from our St Kilda Road Campus have qualified for the Future Problem Solving Australia National Championships, our biggest group of qualifiers yet.

Congratulations to Audrey Pinnan from Year 6; Eva McCutcheon, Jemimah Murray, Zara Pinan and Jack Jones from Year 7; and Emily Walsh, Amelie Ludbrook-Watt and Frankie Birkett from Year 8. All will progress to the National Championships in October.

Last year, three Year 9 students from our Glen Waverley Campus experienced great success in the Middle Grades division of the Future Problem Solving competition, placing among the top students in Australia. David Xiang’s Scenario Writing piece won second place Australia-wide and he was invited to join the Australian team at the Future Problem Solving international finals at the University of Massacheusetts Amherst in the US in June this year.

While David and his Australian team members were unable to attend in person, they still participated virtually. ‘There were a number of lectures and activities designed to build connections between all the finalists from the different countries,’ David says.

He was able to present his story – set in a dystopia where the artificial food pills people consume could be the very thing killing them – to a large audience from around the world. A writer since primary school, David has been enjoying writing analytical and persuasive pieces, including for his Language and Literature course within the IB Middle Years Program.

‘I was really proud to represent my country as an international finalist, but also pleasantly surprised, as this is my first piece to win an award! I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be on such a big stage. I am grateful to the school and my mentor Ms Bernardi for the support and the opportunity to participate in this competition.’

Good luck to Audrey, Eva, Jemimah, Zara, Jack, Emily, Amelie and Frankie as they continue through this competition.