Who We Are
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) education nonprofit organization and an affiliate of Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI).
NYFPS administers and manages the future problem solving program in New York State. We are dedicated to teaching students (4th - 12th grade) creative problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, research, and effective communication skills by providing resources, engaging in outreach, conducting training, organizing the annual state competition, as well as supporting school participants.
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.
Students annually from across the globe including countries such as Australia, Norway, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mongolia, South Korea, Malaysia, Portugal, Turkey, New Zealand, France, India, Singapore, and many states within the United States are positively impacted by learning future problem solving.
NYFPS At Work
In fulfilling our mission, we serve and impact a diverse population of New York students. The diversity of students reached by our program helps ensure a broader impact by our program. Participants benefit from a learning environment with a range of perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas. Recognizing the need to provide underserved low-income communities with more educational opportunities, especially a program which teaches essential skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, we have focused on expanding the reach of FPS to these areas.
of participating schools are
Title I Schools
of students impacted are
Students Of Color
of impacted students:
* Title I schools are schools which receive federal financial assistance due to a high percentage of students from low-income households. The federal program aims to provide all children a significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.
Our program focuses on three key areas to enable us to succeed in our mission:
Our program provides educational materials and teaches the six-step problem solving framework applied to globally relevant annual topics through a futuristic lens.
Through the competitive components offered by our program, we provide students with opportunities to apply the six-step problem solving process while challenging themselves.
Our active community promotes engagement between participants and motivates outreach; thus generating a greater positive impact from creative problem solving.
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 Media Features
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 recognition of students' achievements in competition events.