Get Involved

Connect with other problem-solving alumni

Our alumni go on to do extraordinary things. Almost one million problem solvers have gained skills and experiences through Future Problem Solving that they use in their work, their lives, and to make the world a better place. If you are one of them, we invite you with open arms to join our global network of alumni.

Wherever we look, we see alumni making a real difference in society. In fact, our community features alumni contributing in every major field, in every role, including that of parent for second, and even third generation, problem solvers, and at every affiliate location. Expand your network and continue paying lifelong learning forward.

coach and problem-solving student at world finals


Whether you volunteer for one day or for life, you can make a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of young people.

problem-solving students hanging out together at international conference

Partner With Us

Future Problem Solving relies on the support of forward-thinking and innovative organizations to help fulfill our mission.

problem-solving students make new friends at international conference


Our quest to impact students would not be possible without donors. Each donation opens opportunities for students.

Meet Our Alumni

Alumni Network

For our alumni, the future is now. As forces for positive change, they regularly go on to make a real difference in their work and lives.
Future Problem Solving was such an amazing part of my life growing up. From learning how to work as a team, how to write, how to think critically and use my imagination, to creating a lasting hope for the future, it left a lasting mark on my life.
maddie adams testimonial
Maddie Adams
It was a fun adventure to have as a kid in high school, and the problem-solving method and process is something that I still implement and reference from time to time. It was a ton of fun competing in Fort Collins, CO, so many years ago when we crafted "ONE" day.
edd bender testimonial
Edd Bender
Co-Founder/CEO of Video Production Company & Filmmaker
Future Problem Solving has taught me how to critically think and be creative which has helped me a lot in my engineering studies and work. I am currently working in the renewables industry. I have been involved in projects for wind farms, pumped hydro, and battery energy storage solutions.
cassandra ma testimonial
Cassandra Ma
Electrical Engineer
I am still applying the Future Problem Solving system to real life. It boggles my marketing team’s minds how I can quickly identify all the individual parts of a situation, boil it down to the overall problem to solve, then brainstorm a dizzying array of solutions and workarounds.
amber harmon testimonial
Amber Harmon
Design Manager
My official professional title is principal data scientist but fundamentally I consider myself a problem solver. I take the skills and try to develop solutions, even minuscule ones, to the big problems affecting our world today ranging from addressing the opioid epidemic in the U.S. to trying to count and track every worldwide death.
matt boyas testimonial
Matt Boyas
Data Scientist
Future Problem Solving taught me a lot about problem solving that I have used as an adult. I'm currently working for the Department of Children and Families helping children all over Brevard County and getting my Master's degree in Psychology.
cierra graham testimonial
Cierra Graham
Child Services

Connect with Future Problem Solving

I have been involved in the program since 1983, as a competitor, an evaluator, and an affiliate director. Future Problem Solving has allowed me to become a more critical thinker which has helped greatly in my career at Southeastern Louisiana University.
michael bisciglia testimonial
Michael Bisciglia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
(In Afghanistan) while everyone was trying to frantically find a way out I thought of the six step process and already had the underlying problem in my head. I thought of a bunch of solutions and weighed them. I then pitched the idea that I thought was best suited for the situation based on the parameters that were already presented. I know it was because my brain was taught to think in a problem solving manner.
josh scaife testimonial
Josh Scaife
Sales Engineer and Former Signals Analyst, US Marine Corps
I’m truly privileged to have been a part of the program since the fourth grade. It has taught me invaluable problem-solving skills as well as grown my creativity, teamwork, and critical thinking. The Future Problem Solving community is incredibly nurturing.
Michelle Li
College Student
Future Problem Solving taught me how to approach problems in creative and innovative ways. It really laid the foundation for how I think about the world and solve challenges on a day-to-day basis.
Deanna Altomara
Science Writer
I attribute much of my success in being accepted to Stanford and assimilating into a new industry and culture to my six years in Future Problem Solving.
mackenzie yaryura testimonial
Mackenzie Yaryura
Growth Strategy & Operations Executive
I still rely on the Future Problem Solving problem-solving techniques to this day when confronted with a difficult scenario.
alexis woods testimonial
Alexis Woods, M.D.
Internal Medicine Physician

Future Problem Solving Students – A Five Year Study


A Comparison of Reading and Mathematics Performance Between Students Participating in a Future Problem Solving Program and Nonparticipants

Data from the The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) was collected by Grandview Middle School and provided to Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. for statistical analysis.

Findings reported by Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. Performance data on the MCA was collected from 2010-2014 for students in grade 6 at Grandview Middle School in Mound, MN (Westonka Public School District). Students were identified as either FPS: students participating in a Future Problem Solving program, or Non-FPS: students not participating in the program. Summary statistics using Reading and Mathematics Scaled Scores were developed for each group of students by year and across years. To determine if the mean scores across the years were significantly different, t-tests were used. A Cohen’s d test was then performed to measure the effect of the size of the found differences.

In all cases, students participating in the Future Problem Solving Program performed significantly higher on the MCA in both areas of Mathematics and Reading.

Effects of Group Training in Problem-Solving Style on Future Problem-Solving Performance


The Journal of Creative Behavior (JCB) of the Creative Education Foundation

Seventy-five participants from one suburban high school formed 21 teams with 3–4 members each for Future Problem Solving (FPS). Students were selected to participate in either the regular FPS or an enhanced FPS, where multiple group training activities grounded in problem-solving style were incorporated into a 9-week treatment period.

An ANCOVA procedure was used to examine the difference in team responses to a creative problem-solving scenario for members of each group, after accounting for initial differences in creative problem-solving performance, years of experience in FPS, and creative thinking related to fluency, flexibility, and originality. The ANCOVA resulted in a significant difference in problem-solving performance in favor of students in the treatment group (F(1, 57) = 8.21, p = .006, partial eta squared = .126, medium), while there were no significant differences in years of experience or creativity scores. This result led researchers to conclude that students in both groups had equivalent creative ability and that participation in the group activities emphasizing problem-solving style significantly contributed to creative performance.

In the comparison group, a total of 47% had scores that qualified for entry to the state competition. In contrast, 89% of the students in the treatment group had scores that qualified them for the state bowl. None of the teams from the comparison group qualified for the international competition, while two teams from the treatment group were selected, with one earning sixth place.

The results of this study suggest that problem-solving performance by team members can be improved through direct instruction in problem-solving style, particularly when there is a focus on group dynamics.

The Journal of Creative Behavior, Vol. 0, Iss. 0, pp. 1–12 © 2017 by the Creative Education Foundation, Inc. DOI: 10.1002/jocb.176

Future Problem Solving Program International—Second Generation Study


“How important was Future Problem Solving in the development of your following skill sets?”

In 2011, a team of researchers from the University of Virginia submitted a report titled “Future Problem Solving Program International—Second Generation Study.” (Callahan, Alimin, & Uguz, 2012). The study, based on a survey, collected data from over 150 Future Problem Solving alumni to understand the impact of their participation in Future Problem Solving as students or volunteers.

Percentage of Alumni Rating Important and Extremely Important in Developing Skill Sets
  • 96% Look at the “Big Picture”
  • 93% Critical Thinking
  • 93% Teamwork and Collaboration
  • 93% Identify and Solve Problems
  • 93% Time Management
  • 90% Researching
  • 90% Evaluation and Decision Making
  • 86% Creativity and Innovation
  • 86% Written Communication
The report captured alumni’s positive experiences as students in Future Problem Solving and documented that the alumni continued to utilize the FPS-structured approach to solving problems in their adult lives.

Evaluation of the Future Problem Solving Program


Data was obtained from 220 coaches, 633 students, 195 parents, and 34 affiliate directors nationally and internationally

The Center for Creative Learning, USA (Treffinger, Selby, and Crumel) completed an international evaluation of Future Problem Solving including three competitive programs (Global Issues, Community Projects, and Creative Writing). Surveys ascertained 1,082 respondents’ views of: the extent to which Future Problem Solving and its programs meet their stated goals, the strengths of the programs and areas for improvement, and the impact of the program on its participants.

All respondents with current experience participating in each program rated a comprehensive list of 11-12 skills using a 5-point Likert scale. The adult groups identified the impact on participating students’ learning and growth, and the students identified what skills their participation helped them with the most.

Top 5 Most Impactful Skills Identified by Program


Adults – Coaches and Affiliate Directors (151)

  • Learning about complex issues that will shape the future (4.60)
  • Developing teamwork and collaboration, working together and cooperating with each other (4.39)
  • Fostering critical thinking (the ability to sort and sift information or to focus one’s thinking) (4.29)
  • Developing an active interest in the future (4.29)
  • Developing the skills needed to manage time effectively (4.02)


Students (242)

  • Learning about topics that will have important effects on the future. (4.14)
  • Working together and cooperating with others (4.13)
  • Thinking of many different and unusual ideas (3.99)
  • Helping become a better leader (3.90)
  • Deciding on the best solution to a problem (3.87)



Adults – Coaches and Affiliate Directors (64)

  • Enhancing the skills of preparing and delivering materials and/or presentations that communicate ideas effectively (4.76)
  • Developing teamwork and collaboration (working together, cooperating with each other)(4.56)
  • Developing leadership skills (4.56)
  • Showing evidence that team members are able to apply FPS skills in other situations (4.30)
  • Developing the skills needed to manage time effectively (4.27)


Students (107)

  • Working together and cooperating with others (4.33)
  • Feeling that I can make a difference in shaping the future (4.13)
  • Deciding on the best solution to a problem (4.07)
  • Helping me become a better leader (3.97)
  • Thinking of many different and unusual ideas (3.96)



Adults – Coaches and Affiliate Directors (82)

  • Enhancing and expanding writing skills (4.39)
  • Developing an active interest in the future (4.11)
  • Learning about complex issues that will shape the future (4.10)
  • Thinking and researching futuristically (4.06)
  • Fostering creative thinking (the ability to generate many, varied, and unusual options (3.98)


Students (146)

  • Thinking and researching futuristically (4.08)
  • Developing better writing skills (4.05)
  • Learning about topics that will have important effects on the future (3.99)
  • Thinking of many different and unusual ideas (3.92)
  • Finding information in many different places (3.69)


Note, 88% of parents were satisfied with the Future Problem Solving program their youngster(s) participated in and a majority of parents with eligible students anticipated a high level of interest in participating again next year (60.9%).

Alumni Top 5 Most Impactful Skills on Their Development

A group of 48 alumni also responded to surveys focused on their past experiences and the impact those experiences had on their development into adulthood. Approximately 8 in 10 reported Future Problem Solving was very helpful or extremely helpful in secondary school (81%), in academic work after high school (78%), and in other life experiences outside school or academic work (81%). Looking back on their experience, the aspects below were rated the five most important and valuable.

  • Learning ways to think of many different and unusual ideas (4.75)
  • Learning how to choose the best solution for a problem (4.42)
  • Learning how to work or collaborate with others (4.41)
  • Developing better writing skills (4.36)
  • Learning a specific process for solving problems (4.35)
Results indicated strong overall satisfaction with Future Problem Solving among all stakeholder groups, as well as evidence of positive impact on academic and real-life accomplishments and personal relationships.


5-point Likert scale:
Adults: 1 = Little or no impact, 2 = Limited impact, 3 = Moderate impact, 4 = High impact, 5 = Exceptional impact
Students: 1= Hasn’t helped me at all, 2 = Helped me just a little, 3 = Helped me = “Okay”, 4 = Helped me quite a bit, 5= Really a great help to me
Alumni: 1=Not Important, 2=Of Little Importance, 3=Somewhat Important, 4=Very Important, 5=Extremely Important

April Michele

April Michele Bio

Executive Director

A seasoned educator, April Michele has served as the Executive Director since 2018 and been with Future Problem Solving more than a decade. Her background in advanced curriculum strategies and highly engaging learning techniques translates well in the development of materials, publications, training, and marketing for the organization and its global network. April’s expertise includes pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and providing quality educational services for students and adults worldwide.

Prior to joining Future Problem Solving, April taught elementary and middle grades, spending most of her classroom career in gifted education. She earned the National Board certification (NBPTS) as a Middle Childhood/Generalist and later served as a National Board assessor for the certification of others. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for the state of Florida’s certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education. Beyond her U.S. education credentials, she has been trained for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the University of South Florida with a master’s in Gifted Education, April’s passion is providing a challenging curriculum for 21st century students so they are equipped with the problem-solving and ethical leadership skills they need to thrive in the future. As a board member in her local Rotary Club, she facilitates problem solving in leadership at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.