Adult Problem Solving is the newest component of the Future Problem Solving Program. Under the guidance of a coach or coaches, teams of post high school adults of any age use the FPSP six-step model to explore challenges and propose action plans to complex societal problems. Up to four adults may participant on a team. This year's topics are Educational Disparities, It's All in the Genes, 3D Printing, and Identity Theft. The International Conference topic will be announced in the Spring of 2017. Teams complete two practice problems and one qualifying problem during the school year. Trained evaluators score the entry and return it with feedback, including suggestions for improvement. The top scoring teams on the qualifying problem will be invited to compete at the state bowl. The adult state bowl winners may advance to the FPSP International Conference in June.
Have you ever regretted missing out on Future Problem Solving because it wasn’t available when you were in school? Now, as a resident of Virginia, you have a second chance. VAFPS is one of a few affiliates in the Future Problem Solving International Program to offer an adult competition. If you and your friends, relatives, colleagues, or fellow college students, seniors, or members of an organization have grown beyond high school age, you can compete using the same methods and materials as students in the 4th-12th grade program. All it takes is four interested adults and someone willing to coach.
"As a retired educator with some experience as an FPS coach, participating at the adult level has been a genuinely rewarding experience. I have a deeper understanding of both the problem solving process and of my personal strengths and weaknesses as a team member. The shared discourse about the interesting topics and research and their implications for our future has been fulfilling. My team and I are a work-in-progress, but the opportunity to learn new things and grow from the experience has been a lot of fun!"
The Virginia Beach Adult team preparing a booklet
The yearlong adult program is structured exactly like the school-based program, with two practices and a qualifying problem. The highest ranking teams will compete against one another at the state bowl, and the winning team will receive an invitation to this year’s International Conference in Colorado.
The concept of group autonomy, organic to FPS, extends to the adult program as well. Teams are free to meet in homes, schools, restaurants, libraries, or on park benches for that matter.
Our FPS group is now a tight group of good friends and that's worth a great deal to me. I highly recommend Adult FPS to those who love to increase their knowledge of leading edge concepts and content as well as to thrash out ideas with thoughtful people to further the common good.
The benefits of engaging in the adult program are manifold. Perhaps no cognitive activity is as diverse in scope as FPS with its emphasis on rationality, creativity, research, teamwork, and multi-step problem solving.Adult sessions become an outlet for life-long learning.
When adults compete in Future Problem Solving, they engage in a complex and demanding intellectual task that pushes them out of their comfort zone. This kind of continuous and prolonged mental challenge has proven to result in significant gains in brain functioning and memory management. What is helpful and productive for children can dramatically contribute to mental fitness for adults.
Now is the time to organize your team. Look over the program overview or contact the state director for additional information. Register online.