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North Carolina Future Problem Solving Program Components


Global Issues Problem Solving, available for individuals or teams of four students, teaches students how to think creatively about the future. Up to five topics are researched over the academic year and can be used as curriculum, integrated into other content areas, or offered as an extra-curricular option. Annually students vote to determine future topics from three strands - science and technology, business and economics, and social and political issues.

Community Problem Solving encourages students to become agents of change and engages students in their communities. Students explore an existing problem in the school, community or region. Students in both team and individual Community Problem Solving apply problem-solving strategies and skills to real-world problems. Teams can be composed of as few as three or four students or as many as 100. 

The Scenario Writing component encourages students to develop and submit futuristic scenarios - world pictures of the future. Scenario writing is especially intriguing for students who enjoy creative writing. Students create their own vision of the future. Selecting one of the current topics, students are encouraged to use the FPS problem-solving model to examine challenges, select a problem area or conflict, and produce a resolution or action plan.  


Action-based Problem Solving is non-competitive. Using simplified creative problem solving processes with fairy tales and current age-appropriate problems, action-based problem solving introduces teachers and students to creative problem solving and high-level thinking and action skills in a hands-on, non-threatening manner. 

Change the possibilities


Why choose NC FPS?
  • NC Future Problem Solving teaches students how to think, not what to think.

  • NC FPS provides competitive and non-competitive components to teach critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

  • Developed in 1974 by creative pioneer Dr. E Paul Torrance and his wife Pansey, FPS is a dynamic program involving students in 43 states and 13 countries around the world.


"The most basic skill that can be taught in today's school is problem solving, especially skills in solving future problems. In fact, the teaching of future problem solving skills may really be the key to successful teach of the other basics such as reading, writing and arithmetic. Many children are not motivated to master these basics unless they can see the connection between them and their future lives..." (Torrance, 1984)


In all disciplines, students must learn how to overcome obstacles or barriers when confronting challenges and developing solutions to social, political, scientific, economic and technological issues. NC Future Problem Solving is interdisciplinary and its components promote interpersonal communication, leadership and responsible group membership.


The opportunities provided to students in both content and skill areas are the motivation for teachers and coaches who implement NC FPS in their schools. Embraced by gifted and talented teachers because of its flexibility, NC FPS components, however, are open to students of all ability levels.



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