If you want help solving a community problem, you might look to an award-winning group of students at Evanston’s Nichols Middle School.

Two Nichols teams earned second and third place recently in the Future Problem Solvers State of Illinois competition in Community Problem Solving, a team activity in which students  identify real problems and implement real solutions in a community.

The Nichols teams, students of Mrs. Elaine Purnell, an 8th grade teacher, focused on improving community hunger and providing safe areas for community skateboarding.

The teams met during their lunch hours from October last year through February of this year to work on their community projects.

Through participation in Community Problem Solving, students refine critical and creative thinking skills, focus on a real community or school issue, produce solution ideas, generate criteria to evaluate solution ideas, determine the best plan of action, and implement the plan to resolve their problem.

The Nichols Second place team was made up of Sylvia Tellez, India Aaron, Macy Aiken, Noah Kayain, and Lara-Nour Walton. The Nichols Third place team included Avery Bryant, Jeremy Sherpa, Ber Barbaros, and Raheem Lee. 

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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