We teach critical thinking skills, stimulate creativity, encourage development of a vision for the future, and prepare students for leadership roles.
The New York Future Problem Solving Program, Inc. (NYFPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education organization based in New York State and an affiliate of Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI).
NYFPS administers and manages the future problem solving program offerings in New York State. We are dedicated to teaching students (grades 4-12) creative problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, research, and effective communication skills through future problem solving by conducting on-site training, organizing the annual state competition, as well as supporting participants/coaches.
Dr. E. Paul Torrance
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Decades Of Teaching Problem Solving
Creativity research pioneer, Dr. Ellis Paul Torrance, created future problem solving (FPS) in 1974 to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills, encourage students to develop a vision for the future, and prepare students for leadership roles. Dr. Torrance taught at the University of Minnesota and later at the University of Georgia, where he was Professor of Educational Psychology. He is also known for creating the Incubation Curriculum Model and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.
FPS grew out of a month long curriculum unit that Dr. Torrance designed for Clark Central High School with the help of his graduate students at the University of Georgia. This new program was aimed at tackling two pressing education concerns that Dr. Torrance was concerned about: the decline of creativity and the lack of interest in the future. Dr. Torrance adapted the Creative Problem Solving process, developed by Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes in Buffalo, NY for the business world, for students through the FPS process and added short scenarios that presented situations 20-30 years into the future (the "future scene"). The FPS process taught students a six-step problem solving process and students applied the key concepts of this approach to the future scenes.
By 1978, the program involved 300 schools across 26 states, including from New York, and the first National Bowl was held at the University of Georgia. That same year, Scenario Writings were compiled into the Images of the Future: Scenarios and Soliloquies of Future Careers publication, including those by authors from New York. The FPS program continued to expand within the United States as well as gain traction abroad. In 1986, the National Bowl became the International Conference to reflect the participation of students from other countries such as Australia. The New York program became a thought leader throughout the 1990s and 2000s as New York's Affiliate Director during the period, Dr. Richard L. Kurtzberg, published a number of academic research papers regarding the FPS process.
New York State continues to be a leading FPS program; learn more about how NYFPS continues to adapt to the future here.
A Global Community
NYFPS has affiliate FPS programs in more than 37 states and 19 countries/regions. We are a community making an impact felt across the world.
Over 24,000 students annually from across the globe including countries such as Australia, Norway, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mongolia, Korea, Malaysia, Portugal, Turkey, New Zealand, France, India, Singapore, and many states within the United States participate in FPS.
NYFPS is dedicated to enriching young people's lives by providing them with the necessary framework and skills for creative problem solving
Dr. E. Paul Torrance, FPS Founder
The most basic skill that can be taught in today’s schools is problem solving,
especially skills in solving future problems.
NYPFS will provide essential problem solving skills and education to young people, so that we can live in strong, resilient, and prosperous world wherein no problem is too complex to solve.
How Does NYFPS Strive Towards This Vision? Through comprehensive guidance and rigorous competition, we hope to imbue students in New York State with a set of tools which allow them to critically identify problems and strategically develop viable solution plans.
NYFPS' Characteristics And Values
Our key characteristics create the foundation of how we fulfill our mission by guiding us towards the outcomes we expect and what we do to achieve the goals.
NYFPS provides students with:
NYFPS students understand service and responsibility to the community. Many continually positively impact their local and broader communities.
NYFPS students gain effective leadership experience through consensus building, project management, and solution implementation.
The ambitious NYFPS students are equipped with a problem solving framework and knowledge across a range of topics to achieve their aspirations.
NYFPS students develop into professionals through experience practicing presentation and team skills which will be essential for college and their careers.
NYFPS' program creates opportunities for:
Competitive rounds throughout the year drive NYFPS students to improve their performance and excel in their components.
NYFPS students put learned concepts into action through rigorous case study and project-based activities which require applied solutions.
NYFPS students doing service projects within their communities gain realistic insight into the impact and practical outcomes of their efforts.
NYFPS activities are an integral part of classroom instruction as they provide engaging and experimental learning approaches.
NYFPS organizational attributes and values:
Our attributes and values establish the NYFPS community's priorities as well as standards. These characteristics are actualized through collaboration, integrity, and innovation.
NYFPS At Work
Our program focuses on three key areas to allow us to enable us to succeed in our mission:
Our program provides access to educational material that teach the six step problem solving framework and highlight important future trends underscored in the annual topics.
Through the competitive components offered by our program, we provide participants with opportunities to put the problem solving framework into action and apply their skills.
Our team is active in educator outreach and engagement through efforts such as on-site trainings to generate awareness of the importance of creative problem solving skills.
Tahi Wiggins, VAFPS
I am fortunate to have collaborated with and befriended individuals from all over the world - individuals with whom I look forward to creating the future!
Joanna Caravantes, NYFPS
The experience FPS gave me is something I am grateful for and continue to be proud of. FPS taught me a lot throughout my years.
Brianna Reilly, NJFPS
FPS had given me an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and the belief that I one day could be one of the scientists that developed the latest medical technology in the topic suggested readings.
NYFPS In The Press
Our participants are often recognized and highlighted in the news for their achievements. Features range from highlighting the impact our CmPS teams have made in their communities to the awards that students won at the New York State Conference.
Through the decades, FPS in New York has has seen major transformation. NYFPS is dedicated to continuing to evolve and adapt to the changes in the world, so that we can better serve our participants.
In 2009, NYFPS made modernization of the organization a strategic goal and focused on further improving the overall experiences of participants. FPS has a proud history of positive impact on students' lives in the decades of the program running in New York, but it was clear that an organization with a futuristic focus must continually improve. A decade later, NYFPS has grown into a robust program which continues to expand.
To remain a step ahead, we prioritized developing tools integrating technology into how we run NYFPS. We have shifted from a paper and postal based program in the late 2000s to primarily online communication by the mid-2010s. This transition allowed us to decrease our environmental footprint and expand ease of access for participants. We are proud to be the first U.S. affiliate which had NYFPS evaluators, who were traveling, remotely complete evaluations successfully abroad in Europe and Asia due to our integration of technology into our processes. Furthermore, the launch of our website provided a unified platform to engage with current and prospective participants.
In 2020, we stepped up to the challenges of a global pandemic and continued to offer the program. By leveraging the technology and processes we implemented in recent years, NYFPS is proud to have served its community uninterrupted and was able to overcome hurdles. We held our first Virtual State Conference Awards Ceremony in 2020.
As future problem solvers, we rise to meet challenges and find solutions. We can only imagine what we can achieve as NYFPS continues to grow into the future.