Meadow club is ‘Aiming for Amherst’


For the first time, Meadow Elementary School competed in the Future Problem Solving Program for the 2018-2019 school year, and took home first place in the “Community Problem Solver” category. But to reach the international competition, the club needs the community’s help.

Meadow is the only Long Island school to win in the Junior Division. All three of Meadow’s teams who competed placed in the top three of their competition, including second and third place for the “Global Issue Problem Solvers” category.

Awards Received:

Community Problem Solving: 1st Place in New York State – Team Project Kind Kids

Global Issues Problem Solvers: 2nd Place in New York State - Team One Step Ahead

Global Issues Problem Solvers: 3rd Place in New York State - Team Storm Thinkers

Presentation of Action Plan (skit): 2nd Place in New York State - Team Storm Thinkers

The five-day international competition starts June 5 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The competition draws 2,500 problem-solving champions from the 23,000-plus students who compete at local and regional levels throughout the school year from 13 different countries.

A GoFundMe page, called “Aiming for Amherst,” has been set up with the hopes of raising $15,000 for the club by May 15. “We are reaching out to private and public organizations throughout our community and state for support,” the page states. “Any monetary contributions will go a long way toward reaching our goal.” The money would go toward registration fees, room and board and travel expenses.

The Future Problem Solver State Bowl took place on March 31st at Freeport High School. Meadow competed in three of the five components, which are Global Issue Problem Solving, Presentation of Action Plan, Community Problem Solving, Scenario Writing and Scenario Performance.

Meadow’s Project Kind Kids—15 students in fourth and fifth grade—had to present their display board to demonstrate their entire process to date on solving their identified problem of unkindness. They were then interviewed by a panel of judges.

For the Community Problem Solving portion of the competition, the 15 students worked together to use the six-step problem solving process to solve a real-world problem in the community. The students identified unkindness as a problem. The students created a plan of action to solve this problem. The team identified the underlying problems, generated a list of possible solutions, created an action plan, divided the work and created mini teams to complete each task.

The students have worked on training and implementing a Peer Mediation Program to take place during lunch periods. They wrote a script for a film to teach the school about the new peer mediation program and how it can help them to solve conflicts that occur. Additionally, they created a rap music video to further promote kindness, which they debuted during a “Kindness” assembly they hosted. The assembly featured a guest speaker from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, who discussed the impact of kindness on their lives.

The team also implemented a morning greeters group to welcome students to school each morning so that they will start the day on the right foot.