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Lincoln students compete in UK problem solving final

Eight secondary school pupils from Lincolnshire are getting ready to compete in the UK final of an international problem solving competition.

The team from Branston Community Academy near Lincoln will be attempting to win a place at the world finals in the USA when they battle a Middlesex school on Friday, February 7.

The Future Problem Solving Program competition tests pupils on their ability to identify the key challenges facing modern society or their local community.

They then have to come up with possible solutions and an action plan for carrying them out.

To reach this stage, the Branston team managed to beat off competition from schools from across the UK.

The Branston pupils taking part are Katie Brocklehurst, Rebecca Joynes, Alice Hudson, Emma Houlden, Tom Herbert, Scott Addison, Jordan Ishmail-Pearson and Cormac Dann.

The staff and pupils were inspired to enter the competition for the first time this year after a visit by a former national and international winner of the competition, David Middlemiss.

The pupils have already tackled the complex problems of social isolation and desertification and now face the topic of The Surveillance Society in the final.

If they are successful they will go to the international final held at the Iowa State University between June 12th and 15th.

Head Teacher Peter Beighton said: “To have successfully made it into the UK final at our first attempt is a real achievement.

“The competition is a really inspiring exercise that gets pupils to think outside the box, discuss and debate real life problems and put together plans for tackling them.

“We expect our pupils to feel a strong sense of responsibility for the community in which they live and study and to be taking an active role in improving the life of residents and students.

“This competition is an excellent way for them to put those ideals into practice and we are proud of their achievements.”