Eyes set on the future

Anay Aswin at the Future Problem Solving Program Australia competition. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Sahar Foladi

Focused on the future young Anay Ashwin took out second place at the national Future Problem Solving Australia (FPSA) competition recently.

The student at Haileybury School Keysborough campus is not new to the FPSA program. He has participated at the national and international levels and won third place at the age of 11.

“I was given this opportunity three years ago and I was instantly hooked by the idea,” Anay said.

The program aims to empower young people from across the world to develop their creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills so they can make a difference in their local and global communities.

At the national FPSA event, the innovative Haileybury student shared his ideas and research on what mining might look like in the year 2056.

“I tackled thought-provoking topics like green building, water supply and mining.”

Anay will make his way to the International championship in the US next year and he said he’s very excited for the event.

“It’s very proud moment for me to be able to represent my country.

“The topic for the Internationals will be released in March next year and that gives me three months to ramp up my preparation. I am really looking forward to meeting some friendly and familiar faces again.

“I try not to get nervous. My mantra is ‘keep calm and problem solve’.”

The young achiever was in the Junior Division of the International championship last year as a Grade 6 student. The upcoming International competition will see him in the middle division and will be a tough one.

“That’s the most popular and larger (division) so that’s from Year 7 to 9,” FPSA program coordinator, Kirsten Owens said.

Ms Owens said, “The program is our select-entry so we target students who have very high ability.

“It makes them think outside the box and extends them in ways that the regular curriculum doesn’t.”

Anay’s achievements and sharp mind at such a young age provides inspiration for the school.

More than 250,000 students from 14 countries have taken part in the program and Haileybury has been involved in the Future Problem Solving Program International for more than 20 years.

“The preparation for the competition involves some extensive research and the solutions we put forward have to be futuristic and creative,” Anay said.

“To be part of the event is a wonderful learning experience. I have met so many inspiring mentors and like-minded peers from around the world.”

The young global problem solver is set on the road to success and sure to make the country proud.

“My career pathway will definitely involve research and I would like to combine my passion for space exploration and medicine.

“I aspire to become a flight surgeon, to work for the Australian Space Agency and study the impact on humans of space travel or even living on the moon or Mars.”

The 2022 National Finals for Australian students were held from 14-16 October at Carey Baptist Grammar School, Melbourne.