By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A group of pro-active problem-solvers from Fountain Gate Secondary College have shone on the world stage with their plan to tackle teen obesity.
The six-member team dubbed HEALTH (Helping Everyone Achieve Lifetime Health) placed second at an international problem-solving competition in Wisconsin, USA, in June.
Team captain Nikita I said she was overwhelmed with the result after 18 months of “hard work, stress and perseverance”.
Nikita with team-mates Ngoc Tran, Sibel Bozkurt, Mikayla Camilleri, Luke Attrill and Mitchell Newman had started on their quest for improving teen health in 2016.
They were shocked that one in four Australian adolescents were overweight or obese – equivalent to 250 of their school peers.
The group tackled the teens’ lack of access to affordable, healthy food and low knowledge about nutrition and physical exertion.
It set up a promotion week, teaching nutrition to Year 7 students, offering healthy options at the canteen and organising a Capture the Flag game.
They also ran a step-a-thon fund-raiser, planted a vegie garden and produced an informative website, teamhealthfgsc.com.
Their efforts won the Future Problem Solvers national championships in October – after submitting a detailed report and presentation as well as passing an interview.
HEALTH coach Katie Byers said the experience was “truly life changing”.
“I feel truly and wholeheartedly blessed to have had the privilege to work with such amazing and gifted young adults.”
Team captain Nikita added: “Would I go through all that trouble again? Definitely!
“Simply because I want to re-experience all the joy, the nervous butterflies and the delightful buzz at the conference all over again.”