FPS develops critical thinking skills

Livia Lowe, Staff Writer

Future Problem Solvers (FPS) is a club that focuses on developing students’ critical thinking skills, problem solving and decision making through competitive and non- competitive conferences.

“Students in FPS are able to develop their problem solving, decision making, creativity and critical thinking skills, all of which are useful beyond the high school classroom, “ said Angela Thomas, an economics teacher.

FPS is an international program that involves thousands of students yearly

from across the world. First introduced in 1974 by Dr. E. Paul Torrance, FPS provides competitive and non- competitive elements for today’s curriculum by using a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

The six step model that students use starts with identifying the challenges, then selecting an underlying problem, coming up with possible solutions to the problem, generating and selecting the criteria, applying the criteria chosen, and lastly creating an action plan to solve the problem.

“The average meeting lasts approximately 45 minutes, during which students research their competition topics and discuss possible solutions. Additionally, they engage in a number of activities, such as skits, brainstorming, or vocabulary building games that allow them to engage with the topic in different ways,“ said Thomas.

COVID-19 has restricted many clubs from having a normal year and FPS is no exception.

“Everything is online, Internationals was online and this year it was really hard to get registered,” said Emily Watters, a senior.

Despite the restrictions, FPS recently had their international competition which was completely online.

“If you are interested in STEM, and you are looking for a unique opportunity to explore STEM-related topics (with the possibility of travel thrown in), I’d highly recommend joining FPS,” said Thomas.

FPS meets after school on Tuesdays and encourages everyone who might be interested in joining the club to come and see what FPS is all about.