Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Friday, May 04, 2007

Future Problem Solvers

Steven and his team, Yenny, Alice and Rachael

One of the good things that has happened recently for Steven is that as part of his participation in the school's GATE program, he has been involved in California Future Problem Solvers.

They are given problems to solve set in a future setting. He works as part of a team, one of the problems he worked on had to do with discrimination.

His team was one of six teams from his school that qualified for the California Future Problem Solvers State Bowl, and we flew to San Jose last weekend so he could participate.

The problem this year was elder care. They were given a futuristic setting where nanotechnology has been developed to greatly increase the lifespan of the elderly, nanoparticles can reengineer their organs.

Steven and Elijah

It requires the elderly to stay in the hospital for a year while the nanotechnology procedure is performed. During this time they can't see their family or loved ones and loneliness and depression are problems.

Elijah, Rachael, Steven, Yenny and Alice planning their skit

Another issue raised was that this technology has so greatly increased people's lifespans that the elderly are outnumbering the working population.

Steven, Rachael and Alice practicing their lines

For the competition they got together in their groups for two hours or so and had to come up with a statemen of some of the problems and 20 different solutions with a brief description on how the solution would be implemented.

The complete team: Yenny, Steven, Alice, Rachael and Elijah

Then a lunch break, then another two hours for them to plan a skit to be performed in front of all the competitors and their families.

One of the solutions that Steven's team came up with was for a wish-granting organization for seniors, similar to Make-A-Wish.

They performed their skit based on the wish-granting idea. Another boy competing as an individual joined them for the team competition.

Performing on stage is one of Steven's phobias, but he did well. He played the part of the man getting the nanotechnology treatment, the girls were the wish granters who accompanied him on a trip to ride the rapids.

His team didn't win, but one of the teams from his school did. We've never done this before, it was a privilege to participate.

Gannon, Steven and Ian

I suprised Steven by arranging for Doug's sister Deb to drive out and see us Saturday night in San Jose, they had a blast playing in the pool most of the night.

If our future leaders look anything like most of the kids we saw in San Jose, I'd say we have great things to look forward to.

I am really enjoying being with Steven and his friends at this stage of growing up, in some ways they're so mature and in others they're still just kids, but in most ways they're just great.

- Kathleen


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