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Solving the worlds problems

Julie Jones

April 25, 2017

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, both groups of Silver Lake Future Problem Solvers along with coach Kim Bonifas and sponsors Laci Dinkler and Sara Swanson woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed plenty early to board the bus to Kearney by 6:30 a.m. and go solve some problems. The junior high group consists of Trista Hanson, Cierra Stuart, Brock Karr, Nathan Acosta, Trenton Schmidt, Luke Swanson, Madison Miller, and Kiersten Kober. The high school group is made up of Abigail Borgman, Julie Jones, Zane Journey, Makayla Dinkler, and Nadia Trausch.


    In order to qualify for the state bowl, each group had to do a couple of practice problems to see how they ranked compared to other schools. The judges then sent feedback to coach Bonifas to let the teams know what they needed to work on. After they each did a couple of practice scenes, each team then did a qualifying scene, completing the six step process in just 2 hours. Both junior high and high school groups did well and qualified for the state bowl.


    After each team was assigned a room, they got started on their 2 hour session, starting by reading the future scene about identity theft. The groups then came up with 16 problems, wrote an underlying problem using the biggest problem, wrote solutions to these problems, created criteria to judge the solution and choose a winning one, graded the solutions in a grid, and finally came up with an action plan as to how they would solve the underlying problem.


    After the 2 hour session was finished, the teams went to Applebee’s for lunch. While they ate, the team's planned out their skits they would later perform for the judges. The skit had to use certain props and a quote, be under 4 minutes, each person had to have a line, and most importantly, the skit must show how the team would put their plan into action while solving the underlying problem.

    After each team performed their skit, the teams once again boarded the bus and headed for home. Of course, the team had to stop on the way back for a treat because they had done so well through the long day. The teams made a quick stop at Starbuck’s for a nice drink and snack and headed on the road home. The High School team is happy to report that they took 6th in their division. Coach Bonifas commented on the day with “I was extremely proud of the high school team, the junior high team and all of the alternates on Saturday. Everyone turned their creativity up a notch and performed at their best for the written competition. The hard work over the years paid off for the high school team and they ended up with a 6th place finish in the written competition at state, and it’s the first time Silver Lake has been able to place in the top six at the State Bowl,” She also added, “This is the 8th year Silver Lake has had FPS and it’s the 7th consecutive year we’ve had a team qualify for the State FPS Bowl. In prior years, only one team has qualified, and this year we were very excited to have both the junior high and high school teams qualify for the State Bowl, which was a first for us.

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