New Jersey Future Problem Solvers

Competitive Components:

Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS)

For Teams or Individuals! Under the guidance of a teacher/coach/parent, students use the FPS six-step model to explore challenges and propose an action plan to complex societal problems.

Community Problem Solving (CmPS)

For Teams and Individuals! Students apply their FPS skills to real problems in their community. A community problem is a problem that exists within the school, local community, region, state or nation. Implementation of the action plan is included in this component.

Scenario Writing (SW)

For Creative Writers! Scenario Writing is a competition in which individuals develop short stories related to one of five FPS topics for the year. The story (1500 words or less) is set at least 20 years in the future and is an imagined, but logical, outcome of actions or events taking place in the world today.

Scenario Performance (ScP)

For thinkers who are also storytellers! Scenario Performance was designed by FPSP Australia to develop and sustain the oral tradition of storytelling. This option is ideally suited to students who show thinking abilities in different ways - particularly for those whose cultural heritage and/or learning styles prefer oral communication. Using one of the current topics as a theme, participants develop futuristic stories to present in a creative and entertaining manner. The stories do not have to be written, rather they are performed!

For All Competitive Components

Four Divisions are offered: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), Senior (grades 10-12) and Adult.

Trained evaluators score student work and return it with feedback including suggestions for improvement. The top scoring teams on the qualifying problem are invited to advance to complete in the New Jersey State championship. The State Champions of each component then advance to the FPSP International Conference in June where they will compete against winning teams from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Curricular Components:

Action Based (AB)

This year-long, non-competitive component is designed for use in the classroom and introduces students to the skills of creative problem solving in a hands-on, non-threatening manner. Students are encouraged to work on two topics, one per semester. Three divisions are offered: Primary (grades K-3), Junior (grades 3-6) and Middle (grades 6-9).

Through the Future Problem Solving Program International:

The Problem Solving Experience CurriculumThe Problem Solving Experience: Classroom Curriculum Designed to Promote Problem Solving in the 21st Century is a complete curriculum targeted at grades 5-8, and portions can be adjusted for use with younger or older students. The curriculum can be implemented as a full semester course, or spread across 1-4 school years. Complete lesson plans and resource materials are provided.

The activities in this course are an outgrowth of the Future Problem Solving Program International, a program originally developed by E. Paul Torrance who was a pioneer in creativity. The curriculum provides direct instruction that introduces students to the creative problem solving process and then provides practice through the application of problem solving in a variety of contexts. 

The course consists of lesson plans for nine units, with extensive resources for each unit including handouts, overheads, and teacher reference materials.

  • Preparation for Problem Solving
  • Problem Solving Experience 1: Eensy Weensy Spider
  • Problem Solving Experience 2: The Elephant’s Nose
  • Problem Solving Experience 3: Robin Hood
  • Problem Solving Experience 4: The Lorax
  • Problem Solving Experience 5: Harrison Bergeron
  • Problem Solving Experience 6: Smart Clothes
  • Problem Solving Experience 7: Digital Music Rights
  • Problem Solving Experience 8: Prejudice

Available at fpspimart.org $58 electronic download; $60 binder-ready with resource CD