Students bound for Future Problem Solving Nationals

Tackling the big issues

In October, two St Peters teams will be investigating the future of Personalised Medicine as part of the Future Problem Solving (FPS) National Finals. The teams will be made up of Year 11 students, Sophie M, Melinda H and Charlie H, along with Year 9 students, Josie B, Abbey C, Ella Y and Jess M.

The students have been working hard around their College workload this year, ensuring that each issue they’ve faced as part of this extra-curricular competition is well thought-out. The students have displayed a high level of teamwork to get this far. They’ve come up against some of Australia’s best creative and critical thinkers and have presented their ideas with ease.

So just what will they be tackling as they move forward to the National Finals?

Personalised Medicine

This year, the topic chosen for the FPS National Finals is personalised medicine. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) states that ‘the way genes interact with each other can sometimes predispose us to developing particular diseases’. Personalised medicine (also known as precision medicine) uses what scientists know about genetics and disease development ‘to influence decisions about lifestyle choices or to tailor treatment to an individual’. While largely intended to be used to better prevent and more accurately diagnose diseases, there are a range of practical and ethical issues that need to be considered. In the finals, our students will have to think about how personalised medicine will account for the impact of external/environmental factors on an individual’s health.

A competition for the record books

The Future Problem Solving Program Australia is a researched-based, academic program that teaches problem solving strategies while encouraging collaboration, critical and creative thinking and effective communication. St Peters students have been participating in the program for years but, this year, some of our National Finalists are making a record of it. Sophie, Melinda and Charlie will be competing in their fifth Future Problem Solving National Finals in October—an incredible achievement that says a lot about their ability to multitask, problem solve and work together as a team.

Can you help?

To prepare for the Future Problem Solving finals, our students are calling out to the St Peters community. If you have specialised knowledge on the topic of personalised medicine and would be able to share your perspectives with our Finalists, please contact Mrs Anni Gold:

All the best, students. We can’t wait to hear how you go on 15 – 16 October. #GoSaints!

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