Students who participate in FPS develop essential academic and professional skills as well as make memories that they remember long after graduation. Successful students are supported by their parents who provide encouragement for them to achieve their goals in FPS. Parents are essential advocates who ensure that NYFPS remains a key program at their children's school. NYFPS community of parents and teachers exchange ideas, share resources, and network to help each other succeed in the program as well as improve students' educational experience.
Why Should Your Child Participate?
FPS engages kids from grades 4-12 (or equivalent) to apply critical, and creative thinking to significant issues from a diverse range of community and global topics. These topics include business/ economics, science/technology, and social/political concerns. Students become equipped with the skills and vision to design and promote positive outcomes for society. They have access to a range of resources to become motivated and challenge themselves.
Through competitions, FPS brings lessons to the next level. FPS encourages students to become inquirers; developing an affinity for researching, constructing, and applying complex theories and technologies. Real world problems are often multi-layered. FPS teaches students to take a step back and examine the bigger picture and understand emerging trends. FPS competition topics, such as nanotechnology, are explored in creative and critical ways to find solutions to global issues. Working in teams, ideas are refined and applied. In competition, students see how others solve the same problem, resulting in an incredible learning experience.
Your child will join over 24,000 students who participate in the program annually across 20 countries or regions. FPS is an established program which has enriched students' lives since 1974. The program is taught in classrooms around the globe, including those Australia, New Zealand, China, and many others. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes FPS as a teaching strategy that promotes problem solving skills in their Education for Sustainable Development. FPS is also recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).
Media Coverage And Testimonials
NYFPS 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.
FPS has had a positive impact on many students, here are some reflections on FPS by Alumni:
FPS has significantly improved my ability to solve complex and unique problems not only in the classroom, but in real life as well.
As I prepare to attend Columbia University, I am forever thankful for my time as an FPS member.
I participated in FPS throughout high school. My team won states my senior year and got the chance to compete at the international level. 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.
Overall, I felt that my time spent in the program improved not only my critical thinking skills and abilities to think outside the box, but it also improved my social skills as well.
Benefits By Grade Level
There are different ways which FPS can benefit your child depending on their grade level. See how your child can benefit from participating in FPS by hovering over the stage of their educational career below:
Build a strong foundation early in your child's education by allowing them to learn critical thinking, problem solving, and team work skills
Exposure to a wide range of topics, subject areas, as well as issues prepares your child for learning multiple subjects in middle school and later on in high school
FPS achievements assist in your child's college application and the skills developed will serve them well in college and their careers beyond school
Core Competencies And Skills Development
The following are the four core competencies which underscores the FPS process. Your child will learn to become more proficient in these competencies as well as develop their skills in the skillsets below.
Reading / Literacy
Extensive reading of non-fiction / informational text
Build content area literacy through research of the specific topics
Opportunity for writing using evidence from texts to build challenges, solutions, action plans, and scenarios
Content in the Lexile stretch band to increase exposure to complex texts
Development of content-rich academic vocabulary and comprehension skills through diverse annual topics
Math / Finance
Real world application of content
The ability to solve mathematical problems beyond the classroom
Strategic use of appropriate mathematical tools
Financial and economic choices
Project development requiring demonstration of conceptual understanding
Life / Career Skills
Ethical leadership for positive change
Gift and talent development
Achievement in areas across dimensions of learning
Incorporate feedback effectively
Adapt to changing situations, roles, and contexts
21st Century Skills
Learn and utilize skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration (Core Competencies)
Assess and evaluate information in an efficient and effective manner
Apply information accurately and creatively
Examine how and why media messages are constructed
Leadership / Responsibility
Apply problem solving skills to guide a team toward a goal
Seek other perspectives and experiences to contribute to local and global community
Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior
Serve the community
How Can I Get Involved?
Find out whether your child's school has a NYFPS team or club by inquiring with your child's teacher or the school administration. High School students can check with the school's activities registry or find out how to start their own chapter here. If your child's elementary or middle school does not have a NYFPS chapter, then you can take the initiative to introduce the program to students in your community by discussing the value of FPS with your child's teachers. It is often also helpful to share the information with school administrators such as the Principal or Assistant Principals in order to support allocation of funding to a FPS program. Highlight the key benefits of FPS for students in a short and concise manner. You can further direct them to NYFPS' web resources for educators which include information on being an advisor, bringing FPS into the classroom, starting a chapter as an advisor, teaching essential skills to students, and much more. You can also organize other parents, such as through the school's PTA (Parent Teacher Association), in support of bringing this program to help enrich your children's education.
Ways To Be Engaged In Your Child's FPS Experience
Being involved with your child's academic career can be one of the most rewarding aspects of parenting. By actively assisting a FPS team or activity, you can share your enthusiasm for problem solving and service with your child while having a positive impact on your local community. There are many ways for parents to take an active role in their children's FPS experience; here are some ways parents can work with teachers and advisors:
Professional / Subject Expert
The Annual Topics allow students to put the FPS process into practice, research new subjects, and gain insight into important global issues. Many of topics may be areas of expertise related to your professional career or previous academic experience. You can work with your child's teacher to provide helpful knowledge towards the students' research as well as conduct an information session. Students can learn from your expertise through engaging discussions.
Scenario Writing Draft Editor
Scenario writers have to ensure that their stories are concise and written without spelling or grammatical mistakes. You can offer to read drafts and provide feedback on items relating to the storyline, improvements on phrasing, and note obvious mistakes. Repeat this process across several drafts before it is reviewed by your child's teacher. This iterative process will help your child remain motivated as they hone their writing skills.
Community Service Volunteer
Community Problem Solving (CmPS) teams focus on addressing an issue they've identified in their local community. Brainstorm with your child about issues that they can help tackle within your local community. Additionally, you can coordinate with your child's teacher to help with transportation, raising awareness, sourcing resources, and supporting the community service project. This is an opportunity to demonstrate to your child by example the importance of service.
Skits Presentation Audience
GIPS students have to present their action plans at the New York State Conference and International Conference. The Presentation of Action Plan (Skits Presentation) competition requires the teams to be creative, engaging, and well rehearsed. Be an objective audience by watching their rehearsals and offering feedback. Remember to act as a Skit Evaluator during the rehearsals to add realism to the sessions.
Be An Active Member Of The NYFPS Parents Community
As a parent of a child who participates in FPS, you instantly become part of a global community of thousands of parents who support their children's journey through the program. See how other parents are taking advantage of FPS resources to improve their children's learning experience and share your tips with the broader community. Be an advocate for NYFPS in your personal network and spread awareness about the importance of teaching students problem solving skills. Keep the conversation going through social media by following NYFPS on all of our channels. Remember to share photos, videos, and stories about important achievements of milestones.
How Do I Support?
Demonstrating your interest and support in your child's academic career can provide a major motivational boost to your child. By providing encouragement and showing pride in your child's participation in NYFPS, you build an environment where they feel empowered to strive towards their goals. The rewards can be overwhelming when you see the sense of accomplishment in your child's eyes when they masters a new skill, the pride you feel watching the first medal win at the New York State Conference, and the fulfilment of knowing that you supported their efforts along the way. There are many ways to be supportive depending on your child's grade level:
These early years are prime years for parent supporters. You are often looped into classroom activities, chaperoning a field trip, reading at story time, or helping solve math problems. FPS allows you to help your child become aware of problem solving and critical thinking. The 4-6th grade years are ideal for establishing first impressions of a subject, such as loving to read, exploring through science, or tackling problems. Take an active role in making sure that FPS is as important to your child as reading, writing and arithmetic. Be supportive of curiosity about the Annual Topics and engage in brainstorming challenges or solutions as part of their GIPS booklets. Talk with your child's teacher and find out how to play a more active role in their FPS program. You will see your child create life long memories and friends through the program.
Middle & High School
As your child matures into the middle school and high school years, it can be rare to find opportunities to engage with your child outside of occasional homework assistance. With FPS, you can be an active partner in your child's success by assisting with travel logistics, sourcing new and enriching resources to support their team, assisting with fundraising efforts, introducing subject matters professionals from your career field to provide insight on the Annual Topics, or simply providing the setting for meetings. You will see that FPS becomes a social nexus where your child find friends who have similar interests and who feel it's cool to pursue academic activities outside of regular school work. It will also be an activity which your child can proudly detail in their college applications.
Fundraising Support And FPS Spirit
It is important to have adequate funding when running a FPS program at a school, so you can play an essential role in supporting fundraising efforts, donating, organizing community support, and advocating for school district budgetary allocations. FPS teams have to budget for registration fees, travel expenses, and other costs. Teachers can become overwhelmed with juggling the responsibilities of teaching the FPS process to students, managing the administrative tasks of a FPS team, organizing activities, fundraising, and much more, so you can help lighten that load by offering to help support their efforts to fundraise. Parents can organize fundraising events (e.g. bake sales), raise funds from friends or family, generate community support (e.g. GoFundMe campaigns), request PTA support, and present at school boards to request FPS program funding allocations. Parents who are proactive and invested in their children's participation in NYFPS have success in sharing stories about the positive impact FPS has had on their children.
Parents can also show their support to the NYFPS program which works hard to bring FPS to students across New York State. Your support allows us to better serve all participants and provide scholarships to students or schools which need the most support.
It is also important to show support through NYFPS spirit and pride. Share your enthusiasm for problem solving on your social media platforms and be a champion for NYFPS' mission. Keep up with the latest FPS news by following @NYFPS on Twitter and liking/following us on Facebook. Highlight your child's NYFPS milestones on social media by sharing photos, videos, and stories. Remember to tag us on Twitter or Facebook by #NYFPS and @NYFPS. Show your NYFPS pride by using our graphics on your social media accounts; explore them below.