Tips for the National Finals
Congratulations to all students who have participated in the Global Issues Problem Solving Program (GIPS) in 2013. At this time, plenty of focus is given to those who have qualified for the National Finals, but all students who participated in GIPS throughout the year deserve recognition for their hard work and achievements. As an evaluation team, we have once again been enthused by the overall quality of work and insightful ideas that you have been able to come up with through the year.
Now, for the teams who have qualified for the National Finals, although you should definitely be proud of your achievements to date, this is an important time to consolidate your FPS skills as the GIPS competition gets more difficult from here. At the National Finals, we challenge students with a difficult Future Scene and hold higher expectations from an Evaluation point-of-view, as we need to somehow separate the better teams into a final overall ranking. To do your best at the National Finals, here are 5 key tips that should help teams fulfil their potential:
Read your evaluation scoresheets in detail from the QP and past problems - Although your team has obviously done well to have qualified for the National Finals, the evaluator will have highlighted various areas for improvement in your scores and comments. Isolate these areas and work on them.
Research the topic, Ocean Soup, in detail - Remember you will be competing against the best FPS students in Australia at the National Finals so it will not be possible to fulfil your potential without a detailed understanding of the issues regarding Ocean Soup and the ability to use specific examples and references.
Remember what got you to National Finals- although it is important to work on your weaknesses, do not do that to the exclusion of honing your strengths. Keep up the same level of creativity and futuristic thinking that separated you from the vast number of other teams who were not strong enough to qualify for the National Finals.
Revise Steps 2 and 6 – Although each step is as important as each other for a quality booklet, when we as an evaluation team are trying to separate the last booklets late on a Saturday night at National Finals, time and again it is the teams that have completed Steps 2 and 6 that much better who come out on top. Be structurally sound, be creative and be insightful with your underlying problems and action plans.
Have fun – as much as the National Finals is an intellectual pursuit, it is also a great time to reflect on your achievements and enjoy yourselves. Socialise with your teammates and other teams, make the most of the dinner and hopefully we can enjoy some great Perth weather as well. Best of luck to the teams competing at the National Finals.
Finally, before we finish, for the teams who did not qualify for the National Finals, please remember that it is possible for you to submit a booklet for Problem 4 for evaluation (provided you pay an additional fee or did not submit one of the first 3 problems). Take on the advice we have outlined before and see how you can tackle the issues of Ocean Soup. If you work hard now, you will set your team up for greater success in 2014.
Simon Casinader, Assistant Evaluation Coordinator