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University of Massachusetts Amherst campus

University of Massachusetts at Amherst hosts 2019 International Conference

Future Problem Solving's International Conference at University of Massachusetts Amherst will host over 2,200 problem solvers from around the globe during annual event on June 5-9, 2019. These 4th-12th grade students have earned a coveted invitation to the conference by displaying expertise in the creative problem solving process and futuristic thinking by qualifying competitions in their local area.

FPSPI prepares these students to be tomorrow's leaders ready to solve global problems. Global Issues Problem Solving and Scenario competitors arrive equipped to tackle potential de-extinction problems set in the near future. These teams and individuals must research all aspects of the topic to be prepared for competitive events where a futuristic scenario will be analyzed and addressed. [Topic Details]

Community Problem Solving projects will be a highlight of this event as well. Student-driven, they identified a unique need in their community and implemented a plan of action through service to solve these issues and enhance the world for a brighter future. The Community Problem Solving Showcase will be open to the public to interact with these dynamic youth to learn about the change they enacted.

2019 IC Topic: De-extinction

From woolly mammoths to saber-tooth cats, to passenger pigeons and dodos, to a myriad of insects and invertebrates, many species have become extinct over time. New scientific advancements are leading to unprecedented uses of fossilized materials. Could these archaeological discoveries combined with scientific breakthroughs lead to the long awaited, long speculated, realization of de-extinction? De-extinction, also called resurrection biology, is the process of resurrecting species that have died out, or gone extinct. De-extinction uses techniques such as cloning to revive an extinct species. De-extinction is a controversial proposition that has split scientists.

Technology to revive extinct species is close to being perfected, but does this mean that it should actually be used? Where will these revived species be housed and what impact will they have on an already changed habitat? What are the ethical pros and cons of reintroducing extinct animals? What limits should be placed on the use of such technology? Should scientists use this to undo environmental harm that has occurred? How might these restored species affect our current biosphere? How might living among de-extinct species affect humanity?

2019–20 TOPICS

Practice Problem 1 – International Travel
Practice Problem 2 – Sleep Patterns
Qualifying Problem – Gamification
State Bowl – Living in Poverty

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