The Lifelong Benefits of FPS
When Emily asked us to write about why we had stuck at FPS for nine years, we were amused. Surely the readers of Future Talk had been at FPS long enough to know all the benefits? After all, we’ve been involved with FPS for nine years: you could argue that we are still juniors! Relative newcomers! We’re very aware that some of our readers will have more than doubled that time – in fact, some have been involved since before we were born! (We admire your dedication, FPS Veterans.)
So what is it about FPS, we wondered, that inspires such loyalty?
We can go on about how we use it all the time, which is true. FPS taught us how to do comprehensive literature reviews that look at a topic from all angles, how to write assignments with structure and research, how to approach and overcome any large project or challenge. We’ve found it consistently guiding our further studies.
But you all know that – I’m sure you all use the process all the time too, so much that you’re not even aware of doing it anymore. That’s what we’ve found.
We can tell you how it’s challenged us – keeping us on track when other classes were poring, giving us something to look forward to at school; how it gave us an entry into thinking profoundly about the world as a whole beyond Penrhos College, beyond Perth; and how it brought our school subjects together and gave them context and meaning. But you know all that. If you’re a teacher you probably tell parents that. If you’re a student you’ve probably told your classmates that to try to explain that, no, FPS does not stand for First Person Shooter and, no, it’s not about maths.
And all that of course is true. But the real clincher for us was the community and the spirit of FPS. We actually met and became friends through the program. We were welcomed into the WA Committee with open arms, filled with people as excited about it as we were. Our coach and school have let us come back and coach (we just never left!). FPS gave us friends and a community of people who were interested in a multi-faceted approach to life – because there are just so many fascinating things from genetics to economics to philosophy, and why limit yourself to studying one thing? And given that today’s and tomorrow’s and even yesterday’s (still unsolved) will require integrated solutions from many different domains, a community that values creativity, a complex understanding of the world and an enthusiastic drive to help is one we’re proud to be a part of. So we’re here to stay.Grace Ritter and Jessica Smith
WA committee members