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Future Problem Solving is an international educational program that focuses on the development of creative thinking skills, in particular problem identification and positive solutions to those problems. The aim of Future Problem Solving is to develop critical, creative and futuristic thinking skills. It challenges students to use their imagination and to design and promote positive solutions to some of the significant issues facing both the world of today, and the future.
Selected Years 5–6 students are invited to participate in two facets of the program; Scenario Writing and Scenario Performance. There are five different topics offered each year from which students select one to be their area of research. The researched content is set at least 20 years in the future, and students have approximately four months to produce their work.
In Scenario Writing, students write a scenario of no more than 1500 words. A scenario is a short story which projects into the future, a possible set of circumstances which are a logical outcome of actions or events, which might take place in the present. A scenario will have a science-driven premise, a well-constructed narrative and a strong, empathetic protagonist who will drive the narrative forward.
The emphasis of the story should be on how people are affected. The scenario idea is developed to point out positive social and cultural aspects, and the consequences of doing without them.
In Scenario Performance, students also develop a scenario but it is presented as an oral storytelling, which is submitted in one take, on a DVD. The story should be between four to five minutes in length and presented without the use of props or aids.
Students in Scenario Writing and Scenario Performance compete nationally each year, and first place winners are invited to represent Australia in June of the following year, at the International Future Problem Solving Conference in the USA.