Their future problem-solving skills have won them a chance to represent New Zealand in the US, but first they have to solve a present problem - how to raise the $32,000 needed to get there.
Four year 12 students from Francis Douglas Memorial College - Patrick Fisher-Evans, Ryan Sadler, Louis Poole, all 16, and Kurt Biesiek, 15 - came second, by one very frustrating point, in their section at the finals of the New Zealand Future Problem Solving (FPS) Competition at the end of last year. That qualified them to represent New Zealand at the FPS World Champs in Iowa in June.
The boys will compete in the senior division of the Global Issues Problem Solving at the international competition, which will involve more than 2000 students from 18 countries.
The young men have to raise the $32,000 by the end of March, co-ordinator Robyn Wackrow says.
All donations would be gratefully received, but Ms Wackrow was hopeful a sponsor could come on board for the future problem-solving programme, she said.
"It can be ongoing or just this year."
The boys could wear T-shirts with the sponsor's name on, she said, or firms could invite the boys to hold a problem-solving workshop for staff.
Last year an Auckland school did this and the company was so impressed it donated $10,000, she said.
The FPS programme gave gifted students a scene and they had to come with problems and solutions for 30 to 50 years in the future. The topic at last year's nationals was polluted oceans.
Ryan said they would be given the topic for the world champs in the next week or two and they had to research it before they went to Iowa, but they wouldn't know the actual scene they had to solve problems for until the competition started.
Patrick said some of the schools had been involved in the programme for years, whereas Francis Douglas had only been for three years. "And we've been to the national finals twice."
A Facebook page - Future Problem Solving FDMC - had been set up with a link to the Givealittle website for anyone who wanted to donate to help the boys get to the US.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think of the NPDC's decision not to give iwi representation and voting rights?Related story: Dismay as iwi voting rights denied