State Champion Future Problem Solvers Find The Best Rewards In The Experience
The Orange High School and Moreland Hills Elementary problem solving teams both received first place awards at the Future Problem Solving Program State Awards ceremony and will now go on to represent the state of Ohio at the International Competition on June 7-10 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
The high school team created Project P.E.A.K. (Performance Enhancing Activities for Kids) under the direction of Gifted Instructor Kathy Frazier. As part of this project, OHS students developed mentorship programs for students at Moreland Hills Elementary School and Brady Middle School that enabled younger students to form positive working relationships with high school students. Programs developed included “Write On”, “Mentoring at Moreland”, “See Jane Win” and “The Green Connection”.
“It’s really exciting to see how much this new environmental program, ‘The Green Connection’, has crystallized with the help of many amazing people,” said sophomore Jin Hu, one of the members of the high school team. “The activities the kids do give them the opportunity to have a say in changing the environmental problems we experience today.”
“After receiving feedback from many of the younger girls, I realized that our “See Jane Win” program really has been making a difference in their lives,” said junior Morgan Sosic, one of Hu’s teammates along with Hallie Israel and Amy Wu. “To see a group of girls, practically strangers, form lasting relationships really makes me realize the importance of implementing programs such as this in our school.”
Junior Hallie Israel, already a published author, stressed the importance of the strong relationships when it comes to a mentoring in writing program.
“Sixth grade writers have been able to thrive by sharing their work, receiving feedback and expressing themselves in the company of their supportive peers,” she said. “The written word’s ability to capture an individual’s perspective, combined with its power to inspire change and incite action is something so amazing to me. I am so proud to be a part of helping to instill this passion into the students at Brady!”
The Moreland Hills Elementary School team, under the direction of Gifted Instructor Jean Metzger, developed "Children Caring about Culture In School (CCCIS)." This team includes Lindsey Berlin, Anna Brateanu, Katie Brateanu, Morgan Davies, Jordan Dubyak, Eleanor McCreary, Samantha Occhionero, Julian Perry, Rosalind Sanders, Claire Stephenson, and Olivia Tzefronis.
The students created CCCIS to highlight and celebrate the multiple nationalities represented at MHS. Students conducted a nationality and language spoken survey. Using the results and assistance from an Orange Schools Foundation grant, the students purchased flags of 50 nations and posters to highlight 12 languages spoken by students. The flags were hung throughout the school. The group also created an informational brochure about the cultures represented and is in the process of compiling an ethnic cookbook.
“This is a celebration for our whole District,” noted Gifted Coordinator Beth Wilson-Fish, adding that all of the projects have been graciously supported by the Orange Schools Foundation in the form of teacher grants that enhance collaborative efforts. "Every building has been touched by the work of both of these Community Problem Solving teams. From the amazing display of flags representing the nationalities of our diverse MHS families, to the numerous hours our OHS students dedicated to creating relationships with students and teachers at the elementary level and at Brady, these projects have made a huge impact on all of us!”
Sophomore Amy Wu, who will receive a special award for outstanding Scenario Writing, receiving fourth place internationally, has qualified to compete again at the International Competition. She said the experience has been enhanced because of the mentoring relationships that have made all the difference.
“Mentoring at Moreland has touched the lives of not only elementary school students but the high school mentors as well,” Wu said. “The younger students have benefited from the individual attention they receive. Over the course of a school year, mentors are able to watch the students grow academically and emotionally. Education is a key component of molding a youthful mind. Being able to serve as a mentor for future generations is the most rewarding experience.”