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MN Future Problem Solving Program - Brownsville, MN

Page history last edited by Bob-RJ Burkhart 11 years, 3 months ago

Minnesota Futurists,


Check out an exciting Futures program for youth in Southeastern, MN www.mnfpsp.org


David Keenan

Vice President, MN Futurists

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Text from their website.www.mnfpsp.org/who_we_are.htm

Who We Are

Opening doors to student imaginations since 1982, the Minnesota Future Problem Solving Program offers new and exciting learning paths.

Students experience the excitement of creative thinking and the thrill of solving difficult problems with unique solution ideas when they participate in FPSP.

Receptive to the needs of all students, FPSP offers competitive and non-competitive programs.

Inspiring and motivating, our FPSP educational materials help your students discover rich and varied ways of thinking. FPSP teaches students how to think, not what to think.

"More than ever, an education that emphasizes general problem solving skills will be important. In a changing world, education is the best preparation for being able to adapt."

- Bill Gates, The Road Ahead


The six-step Future Problem Solving model:

1.  Identify Challenges in the Future Scene

2.  Select an Underlying Problem

3.  Produce Solution Ideas to the Underlying Problem

4.  Generate and Select Criteria to Evaluate Solution Ideas

5.  Apply Criteria to Solution Ideas

6.  Develop an Action Plan


Mission, Goals and Beliefs

Future Problem Solving Program Mission

  • To design and promote positive futures using creative problem solving.

Future Problem Solving Program Goals

  • Increase creative thinking abilities
  • Improve analytical thinking skills
  • Stimulate an interactive interest in the future
  • Extend perceptions of the real world
  • Explore complex societal issues
  • Refine communication skills – written, verbal and technical
  • Promote research
  • Integrate problem-solving into the curriculum
  • Encourage cooperative, responsible group membership
  • Offer authentic assessment

Future Problem Solving Program Beliefs

  • FPSP is student centered and action oriented
  • FPSP prepares students for constructing a positive future
  • FPSP can be applied across the academic curriculum and within different curriculums
  • FPSP involves teaching and learning of processes
  • FPSP provides opportunities for students to apply process tools and methods to real life problems
  • FPSP holds a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation



Team Problem Solving

Individual Problem Solving

Action Based Problem Solving

Community Problem Solving (CmPS)

Scenario Writing

Under the guidance of a teacher/coaches, teams of four students in grades 4-12 use the FPSP six-step model to explore challenges and propose action plans to complex societal problems, such as fads, financial security, amateur sports, the Internet and genetic engineering

More details below

Individual competition is offered in affiliate programs choosing to administer an individual program. A student works individually rather than as a member of a team. Check with the affiliate director of your respective program for additional information on individual competition. This year-long, non-competitive component is designed for use in the regular classroom and introduces students to the skills of creative problem solving in a hands-on, non-threatening manner. Teams consisting of four-six 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). Teams 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. Teams move from hypothetical issues to real world, authentic concerns. The top Community Problem Solving Team projects are invited to the FPSP International Conference in June. Students compose futuristic short stories (1,500 words or less) related to one of the current year's topics. The first place winner in each affiliate program is invited to the FPSP International Conference.

Additionally, each affiliate director may submit its top three essays to the International Scenario Writing Competition.

Team Problem Solving

Teams are divided into three divisions:

Grades 4 - 6 (Junior)

Grades 7 - 9 (Middle)

Grades 10 - 12 (Senior)

Teams complete two practice problems and one qualifying problem throughout the school year. 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 Affiliate FPS Bowls held each spring. The winners of each respective Affiliate FPS Bowl advance to the FPSP International Conference in June.

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