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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Future Problem Solvers place second in Texas with community project

FPS members visited local Waco food trucks while at State Bowl. The Texas Food Truck Showdown was on April 14.

The Future Problem Solver’s won second place at the annual Texas FPS State Bowl on April 14 with their community project Money Makes Cents. The team qualified to compete against global FPS chapters in early June at the FPS International Conference.

“I am very proud of our team and of the hard work we put into the project,” senior, club secretary and historian Katherine Jan said. “I feel like our efforts have paid off. We have built a bond through our teamwork during the process of building this project from scratch, and I really cherish this bond. It is also very empowering to see how far we have come.”

Money Makes Cents aimed to combat the lack of financial literacy in local communities. The team started their project in September and have since built a variety of multimedia elements including unit lessons, social media platforms and a website to reach their goal.

“It was really meaningful for me because I got to see my friends who previously didn’t know that much about financing and earning money [learn to] earn their own money, save and invest and really financially flourish,” said sophomore David Fang. “I think one of the really most important things we did was that we made [our lessons] online in a website format, so more people can access it — people around the country or even around the world.”

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The project attracted visitors from 15 different states, influencing nation-wide audiences while also making an impact on the team themselves.

“I definitely learned a lot about teamwork [and] communication,” Fang said. “[The tech team] had zoom calls [while] developing the simulation. I also learned that problem solving can be fun. It’s not just something that grownups do or that takes a really long time to figure out. Especially if we work together and put our brains together, we can figure out a solution pretty quickly.”

While Fang was on the technology committee designing the website and coding the financial game simulation, freshman Malika Mohan was a part of the finance committee, responsible for acquiring funds and securing raffle prizes for the website.

“It was a really educational and helpful process,” Mohan said. “[Pitching our project] to businesses really helped to build my communication skills and get over my fear of talking to strangers. It’s [a skill] that I can take later into life.”

All their hard work finally paid off when the team qualified to the State Bowl in Waco, Texas. The team presented their project to judges and appreciated community projects from other teams across the state during the community project fair.

“[State Bowl] gave me a really happy sense of community,” Mohan said. “It felt really nice to be a part of this larger community and also gave me a sense of camaraderie. I was really happy to see all of these students who are so invested and interested in making their community and their world a better place.”

While the team won’t be attending the FPS International Conference this year, members are resolute about continuing to build community change through club future projects.

“State Bowl is one of the fondest memories I have of high school, and it was an opportunity for our members to get to know each other more and represent our project as a team,” said Jan. “FPS has taught me how to work as a team and also build my leadership skills. I have learned how to become a more effective leader and communicate with others efficiently to work together and make our project successful. Our strong perseverance to face and solve the challenges we encountered as we worked on our project have truly allowed me to become a ‘future problem solver.’”

To learn more about FPS, follow its Instagram @bellairefps.

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