Exciting solutions from the past years of FPSPI – Youth Making a Positive Difference

Posted January 13, 2021 by Jessica Fahrenholtz

The Future Problem Solving Program includes four competitive challenges: Community Problem Solving, Global Issues Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, and Scenario Performance. All four are designed to allow students to work together to make the world we live in a better place.

Students are encouraged to think about the world around them, gather information to fully understand the situation, and come up with multiple solutions to the problems they see. Then students will choose the best plan of action and see what it takes to enact real change in the world. This often brings important lessons about working in the community and what it takes to collaborate with others for the common good.

While 2020 was a challenging year for us all, the 2020 International Conference participants did not disappoint. Teams and individuals worked harder than ever to bring many positive changes to their communities. Here is a look at some of the inspiring projects from last year:

Necessary Skills for Life: These students noticed that the education system was not adequately preparing students for their futures and decided to do something about it. They banded together with local community members to come up with a solution. Because of the work of The Duff-Allen Central Elementary School CmPS team, life skills such as sewing, cooking, and finances are now being offered in their community.

Project SMILE (Seniors Matter In Life Every Day): Many seniors have been left isolated without the knowledge of technology to navigate the digital world we live in. Project SMILE has worked hard to end this within their community. They now have organized events to socially engage lonely seniors and teach them how to thrive with technology.

Keeping Children Safe Online: Internet safety is a huge issue as more and more of our lives gets moved online. Students are spending more time with remote learning than ever online, and team iSAFE (Internet Safety for Everyone) has come up with a solution. They have worked with many local schools and organizations to hold workshops to educate parents and students on internet safety. Many parents are unaware of what their students can access, and if they do know, they aren’t sure what to do about it. These workshops have been well received in the community and are making great strides in spreading awareness.

Kindness is Key: Students can sometimes be unkind to anyone who is different. To create empathy and understanding, Kindness is Key is helping others understand the neurologically different students within their school. They are also taking it a step further and giving students with neurological differences opportunities to work within the school setting to break barriers and get-to-know their community.

Operation H.O.P.E (Hawks Out Preventing Exploitation): Over 40.3 million people are affected by human trafficking every year. Operation H.O.P.E has collaborated with their local communities to bring resources to combat human trafficking in Metro-Detroit. They have also organized events to provide food, clothes, and toiletries to human trafficking survivors trying to get their lives back.

As you can see, the 2020 Future Problem Solving Program participants have worked together to develop some fantastic solutions to problems plaguing their communities. While these projects have made our world a better place, they have also taught each participant what it feels like to make a difference and given them real-world experience in what it takes to make change happen.

Are there any problems in your community that require real change? Start thinking NOW about how to get involved for next year’s events.

Learn more about the Future Problem Solving Program and how to get your students involved!


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