Global Issues Problem Solving
Under the guidance of a coach or coaches, teams of four participants in grades 4-12, or adults beyond the high school level, use the FPSP six-step model to explore challenges and propose action plans to complex societal problems.
Topics are selected by the vote of participants and coaches. This year's topics are Treatment of Animals, Disappearing Languages, Recovering from Natural Disaster, and The Global Workplace. The International Conference topic will be announced in the Spring of 2016.
Teams are divided into four divisions:
Grades 4 - 6 (Junior)
Grades 7 - 9 (Middle)
Grades 10 - 12 (Senior)
Adult - (post high school)
Teams complete two practice problems and one qualifying problem throughout the school year. Trained evaluators score student work and return it with feedback including suggestions for improvement. The top scoring teams on the qualifying problem will be invited to the state bowl, that takes place in April on the campus of the College of Southern Idaho The winners in each division can advance to the FPSP International Conference in June.
Individual Problem Solving
A student may work individually rather than as a member of a team. An Individual completes all six steps when preparing a booklet, the work load is reduced for some steps. Practice Problem 1 requires only four challenges, one underlying problem, four solution ideas, three criteria for evaluation, three solutions on the grid, and an action plan. For Practice Problem 2 and the Qualifying Problem competitors generate eight challenges in step one and eight solution ideas in step three. In step five, the individual applies criteria to four solution ideas to determine the best solution for his/her action plan.
Global Issues Problem Solving & THE SIX-STEP PROCESS
PRE-PROBLEM SOLVING: Students research the given topic. Being informed about the issues involved prepares them to better deal with the particular problem they will be presented with.
STEP 1: The impetus for GIPS problem solving is the future scene, a scenario set into the future about the topic. After reading and analyzing the facts presented in the future scene, challenges that might occur are brainstormed. The sixteen most critical challenges are determined and written in a clear, concise format.
STEP 2: Consensus is reached on an underlying problem that stems from those challenges -- one of the major issues that needs to be addressed.
STEP 3: Possible solutions to the underlying problem are brainstormed, and the best sixteen are identified and written elaboratively
STEP 4: Criteria that will be important in measuring the worth of the top eight solutions are identified.
STEP 5: A grid is used, where solutions are ranked from 1-8 according to how well they meet each criterion.
STEP 6: An action plan is developed for the winning solution.