Pacific Lutheran competes at International Conference

In 2022 a team of four Pacific Plus Middle College students from Pacific Lutheran College secured an invitation to the International Future Problem Solving Conference in the United States at the University of Massachusetts in June 2023.

Pacific Plus students Oliver (Year 9), Isla (Year 8), Amy (Year 8) and Emily (Year 10) have recently returned from an enjoyable experience at the International Future Problem Solving Conference, where they participated in two competitions and a wide variety of other conference workshops and activities.

“Pacific Plus has provided me with opportunities to take risks in my learning. I was excited when I learnt about the opportunity to be a part of the Future Problem Solving team. We work well as a team of students connecting across different year levels. Together we made it to the Nationals in Melbourne and Internationals in Amherst, Massachusetts.” — Amy, Year 8 Pacific Lutheran College student.

Team of Pacific Lutheran Students at the Future Problem Solving Conference 2023

Team of Pacific Lutheran students at the Future Problem Solving Conference


High-achieving students worldwide, including the United States, Turkey, Singapore, China, Canada, and New Zealand, participated in this prestigious academic challenge. Students competed in the Global Issues Problem Solving division and were required to respond to an unseen scenario set in 2052 on the future topic of currency. In two hours, the team needed to act collaboratively to identify challenges in this scenario, formulate an underlying problem, generate 16 solutions and select one of these to prepare an action plan. The plan needed to overcome the challenges of competing cryptocurrencies and the impact on the residents of Trinidad and Tobago’s future global tourist resort.

Two accompanying younger students, Fletcher and William, were placed in multi-affiliate teams and completed a booklet with students from around the world in the multi-affiliate division. The following day, all six students were required to prepare a presentation of their action plan as a creative and entertaining skit. They were also required to improvise and incorporate some quotes and props creatively.

“The International Conference took place over four days and included many opportunities for cultural exchange. Pacific students enthusiastically participated in all these activities, sharing Australian souvenirs with students from other countries at the memento exchange and participating in improvisation and project management workshops. They attended a variety show and a dance with students representing other nationalities. A community problem-solving fair enabled students to see samples of international student projects developed to benefit communities from many countries.” 
“The International Conference was an exciting and challenging way for students to develop leadership skills including the ability to collaboratively solve problems using creativity, innovation, research and optimism.” — Mrs Jo Belchamber, Head of Middle College Learning at Pacific Lutheran College.

“I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. Our memories of this incredible event will stay with us long into the future and forever inspire us to strive to achieve our full potential.” Isla, Year 8 Pacific Lutheran College student.


Buildings at University of Massachusetts

Beautiful buildings at the University of Massachusetts


The College would like to acknowledge and thank Mr Jarrod Bleijie MP, Member for Kawana, the Sunshine Coast Council and Friends of Pacific for their financial support.

Pacific Plus offers a contemporary approach to meeting the affective and intellectual needs of highly able learners at Pacific Lutheran College. Pacific Plus provides the opportunity for these students to engage with developmentally appropriate extension and enrichment experiences together.

To learn more, visit and book a College tour.

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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