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NYFPS | New York Future Problem Solving Program, Inc.


NYFPS teaches the six-step problem solving framework and highlight important future trends underscored in annual topics. FPS is a powerful tool for teachers inside and outside the classroom. A range of educational resources are available to support NYFPS participants. Helping students learn problem solving is at the core of our mission.

New York Future Problem Solving
New York Future Problem Solving

Six-Step Problem Solving Framework

Future Problem Solving (FPS) teaches a six-step approach which serves as a dynamic framework for 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

FPS Framework's Academic Background

Dr. Ellis Paul Torrance, created FPS in 1974, as a month long curriculum unit for Clark Central High School with the help of his graduate students at the University of Georgia. Dr. Torrance adapted the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process, originally developed by Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes for the business world. The adapted framework teaches a six-step problem solving process which offers students a guide on how to tackle scenarios in a structured and repeatable methodology. Through FPS, Dr. Torrance created an educational approach of allowing students to apply the six-step process to short scenarios set in the future grounded in realistic trends. These futuristic case studies familiarize students with increasingly important global themes while offering opportunities for the problem solvers to apply their creativity.   

Step 1


Step 2

Underlying Problem

Step 3


Step 4


Step 5

Evaluate Solutions

Step 6

Action Plan

six steps

Teaching Opportunities: Annual Topics

Each year FPS focuses on a set of Annual Topics which serve as the thematic basis for each submission in the GIPS and Scenario Writing. Students have the opportunity to research, explore, and analyze these topics. These are topics that fall into categories which have been identified as expected to increasingly become more important in the future. The topics represent themes and concepts from the strands of Business & Economics, Social & Political, and Science & Technology.

Discover how the students who participate in FPS engage with the Annual Topics to achieve alignment to curriculum standards here.

New York Future Problem Solving
Pastel Swirl

Integrating FPS Into The Classroom

Our program provides New York teachers the opportunity to integrate the six-step problem solving framework into their classroom instruction. FPS aligns with Common Core State Standards Initiative, STEM, and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Gifted Education Programming Standards as well as teach students the 21st Century Skills.

Curriculum Supplement

NYFPS offers a package for educators to bring the six-step creative problem solving framework into the classroom. This component is a non-competitive implementation. Educators receive the materials and resources for the school year to teach FPS in their classrooms.

New York Future Problem Solvers
FPSPI Publications

Additional FPS Educational Resources

NYFPS participants can also find supplementary learning material through FPSPI educational publications. These publications and virtual courses are available through FPSPI Mart.


FPSPI publications on teaching problem solving:

  • ACTION-BASED PROBLEM SOLVING (ABPS) - A manual that teaches a simplified version of the problem solving process and provides guidance in the writing of ideas.

  • THE PROBLEM SOLVING EXPERIENCE CURRICULUM - A complete classroom curriculum designed to teach problem solving in the 21st Century. The curriculum can be implemented as a full semester course or spread across 1-4 school years. Complete lesson plans and resource materials are included.

  • COACHING TRILLOGY FOR GIPS - Three part series that provides a systematic introduction to competitive problem solving. Materials may also be used for non-competitive instruction.

FPSPI resources on teaching the Annual Topics:

  • ALL TOPIC ACTIVITY UNITS - Activities designed to teach the Annual Topics and the six-step problem solving process. Includes research, thinking tools, and a simulation with a practice Future Scene.

  • ALL READINGS, RESEARCH, AND RESOURCES - A consolidated packet of resources to help establish an early understanding of the topics.

  • FPS ACADEMY - Virtual learning via Nearpod that will teach the six-steps and provide background on the topics. Lessons include instructional videos, research, Interactive activities, and a practice Future Scene.

NYFPS can work with you to understand which FPSPI publication best fits your teaching needs. Start a discussion with us here.

New York Future Problem Solving



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