Miranda H. Lewis
Carter County Times
Members of East Carter High School’s Future Problem Solving (FPS) team recently competed at the state finals held at the Galt House in Louisville, March 17-20.
This feat was quite an achievement, as it had been ten years since the Raiders qualified for state level competition in FPS.
“The last year East Carter High School advanced to KAAC State Finals for FPS was 2013,” said head coach Jessie Marshall.
The Governor’s Cup is a statewide academic competition involving hundreds of schools and thousands of students across Kentucky.
Governor’s Cup is, in essence, the academic “playoffs” for elementary, middle, and high schools across the Commonwealth. The competition has been held annually since 1986 and is the foremost academic competition in the state.
In total, Governor’s Cup boasts eight events, including two team events, FPS and quick recall. FPS involves a four-person team. Students are provided with a current issue, set in a future time, which they address and solve through a six-step process.
“In the six-step process students identify 16 challenges in the future scene, create an underlying problem that considers the challenges of the future scene, create 16 possible solutions to solve the underlying problem, evaluate the solutions with criteria questions, display results of criteria in a data grid, and write an action plan about the top-ranking solution in the booklet,” noted Marshall.
Even more challenging, this process is timed and is expected to be completed within two hours or less.
The Governor’s Cup competition is a component of the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition (KAAC) and comprises 64 districts and sixteen regions.
The KAAC has two levels of the Governor’s Cup Competition (district and regional) that students must qualify through before they are eligible to compete at the state finals. The top two schools in the team events advance to the next level: district to region and region to state.
“Our FPS team placed second at District Governor’s Cup Competition, then placed second at Regional Governor’s Cup Competition,” she said.
Members of the East Carter High School FPS team include Sarah Cordle, Jacob Holbrook, Griffin James, Kaylee Lawhorn, Noah Porter, and Stephen Copeland.
Although only four students compete in each competition, alternate teammates provide a contingency in the event of a student absence during a competition, explained Marshall.
“Even though we did not get a top ten placement at state finals, our team has made great progress this FPS season,” said Marshall of her students.
She continued, “They continue to work together to improve their processes. Each time we come back from a competition, our students are ready to review what they did well, and more importantly where they can improve for future competitions. I am so proud of their growth this season, and we have big goals to make it back to State Finals next year!”