What is the Future Problem Solving Program?

The Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP) is a nonprofit educational corporation administering creative problem solving activities for students since its founding in 1974 by creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, FPSP stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages students to develop a vision for the future. FPSP features curricular and co-curricular competitive, as well as non-competitive, activities in creative problem solving. Inspiring and motivating, FPSP helps students discover rich and varied ways of thinking. The program teaches students how to think, not what to think.

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Who can participate?

The Future Problem Solving Program is open to all students in grades K-12 or equivalent school year levels. A school affiliation is not required to participate. There are 43 FPSP affiliate programs in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea, including the New Jersey Future Problem Solving Program (NJ FPS). Annually, over 250,000 students from around the world, including the above countries and Canada, participate in FPSP activities.

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How does the program work?

The Future Problem Solving Program teaches a six-step model which serves as the foundation to build dynamic, creative thinking processes:

  1. Identify Challenges Related to the Topic or 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. Evaluate Solution Ideas to Determine the Better Action Plan
  6. Develop an Action Plan

Students can participate in one of three divisions in competitive FPSP components:

In addition, the non-competitive Action-based Problem Solving component offers three divisions:

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Program Goals

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