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  3. [IC 2024] What sessions/workshops are available with this year’s event?

[IC 2024] What sessions/workshops are available with this year’s event?

Each year, Future Problem Solving offers exciting and interactive sessions and workshops for students and adults. We recommend that conference attendees choose sessions that enable them to explore new programs, deepen their learning, and meet problem solvers from around the world. Sessions and workshops are open to all registered IC participants (NOT Observers).

Last Updated 5/20/24
All Times in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Recaps & Recordings (Pre-Events)

PRE-CONFERENCE WEBINARS
Air Quality: Expert Panel
Organized by the FPS Student Advisory Council

Dr. Angela Dickens
Data Scientist, Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium
Ms. Gail Good
Director, Air Management at Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Dr. Vijay Limaye (Alum)
Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council

WEBINAR RECORDING
WEBINAR LINK
The group discussed: 
– Air quality improvements and future challenges
– Air quality monitoring and policy complexities
– Air quality and its impacts on health and communities
– New technologies and approaches for air pollution reduction
– Advances in regulatory monitoring equipment
– Environmental regulation challenges and solutions
Celebrating 50 Years of Torrance and Future Problem Solving: A Renaissance of Academic Challenge
For all interested in learning about critical and creative thinking.

WEBINAR RECORDING
WEBINAR LINK
Dr. Connie Phelps celebrated the 50th anniversary of Future Problem Solving, particularly focusing on the evolution of academic competitions and their impact on gifted students. She also discussed the origins and evolution of the creative problem solving process, and E. Paul Torrance’s unexpected academic journey, who was from a family with no prior history of higher education. Lastly, she presented various resources related to future problem-solving and divergent thinking, and expressed her enthusiasm for an upcoming international conference and the future of problem-solving.

Session Details

Air Quality: Expert Panel
Join us to learn from experts in the fields related to our International Conference topic of Air Quality.
This one hour session, organized by the FPS Student Advisory Council, will feature leading experts discussing the issues surrounding air quality.

Presenters:
Dr. Vijay Limaye, FPS alumnus and Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council
Ms. Gail Good, Director of Air Management at Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Dr. Angela Dickens, Data Scientist at Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium.

Audience: Global Issues, Scenario Writers, Scenario Performers and coaches.
Celebrating 50 Years of Torrance And Future Problem Solving
A Renaissance Of Academic Challenge

A vibrant component in P-12 education occurs beyond traditional school hours through academic competitions. Throughout the decades, scholastic bees, leagues, and Olympiads enriched curriculum by challenging students to achieve performance goals individually and receive public recognition collectively. The emergence of Future Problem Solving as an academic competition in 1974 helped galvanize an era of higher level thinking skills in schools.

Learn how Dr. E. Paul Torrance contributed to the movement of creative teaching and learning in schools. Examine how the 6-step problem-solving process evolved from evidence-based practices. Celebrate the contributions of Future Problem Solving as a front-runner in a renaissance of creativity!

Audience: Students, coaches, teachers, parents, and other adult supporters interested in learning about critical and creative thinking

Wednesday, June 5

WHENWHAT (WHERE)WHO
8:00 PM – 9:00 PMFirst time to IC Coach Connection
(Briscoe – C220)
Gain information on the campus and how to help students navigate Conference activities.
Coaches

Thursday, June 6

WHENWHAT (WHERE)WHO
2:00 PM – 3:30 PMParents’ Meeting
(Hodge Hall – 1046)
Parents and guardians should join this meeting to gain information on the Future Problem Solving process and how it benefits your students.
Chaperones Coaches
2:00 PM – 4:00 PMScenarios for the Future
Presenter: Dr. Peter Bishop

(Hodge Hall – 1006)
A session on how to blend the UH Framework Foresight approach to scenario development with our Future Problem Solving approach.
Creative Writers
Scenario Writers
Scenario Performers Storytellers

Session Details

Scenarios for the Future (Dr. Peter Bishop)
Scenario writing and presentation are mainstays of the Future Problem Solving program. They are also the programs that are most like what professional futurists actually do.

Dr. Peter Bishop prepared graduate students for careers as professional futurists at the University of Houston for 30 years. He developed the UH Framework Foresight approach to scenario development that dozens of companies and government agencies follow as well

In this session, Dr. Bishop will suggest how to blend the UH and Future Problem Solving approaches, and ask coaches, teachers and experienced scenario writers how those elements might produce more interesting and plausible scenarios that also contain an empirical foundation based on changes going on today.

Audience: Creative writers, scenario writers, scenario performers, storytellers

Friday, June 7

WHENWHAT (WHERE)WHO
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM4 Tools, 6 Steps
Presenter: Dr. Ed Selby

(Briscoe SAR)
The session explores a few of the thinking tools for generating and focusing ideas.
All Attendees
9:00 AM – 11:00 AMThe Case for Green: From Less Bad to More Good
(Foster/Gresham)
This session explores how “business as usual” is changing the marketplace and how consumers face their environmental impact through purchase decisions.
All Attendees
9:00 AM – 11:00 AMTeach the Future
(Hodge Hall 1046)
This session describes why and how we should include the future in the standard K-12 and college curriculum.
Coaches
Educators
Parents
Other Adults
2:00 PM – 4:00 PMIU Woodland Campus Tour: Restoring Midwestern Ecosystems
(Meet in front of IMU)
Students will be taken on an hour-long tour that highlights IU’s natural heritage and the incredible biodiversity of the Midwest.
Session also offered on Saturday
All Attendees
2:00 PM – 4:00 PMThe Art of Storytelling Workshop
(Briscoe SAR)
The workshop covers creating the storyline and storytelling performance.
Creative Writers
Scenario Writers
Scenario Performers Storytellers
9:00 PM – 10:00 PMSenior Division Forum
(Briscoe SAR)
Students graduating in 2024 or 2025 should join this session to connect with peers from around the world, share experiences, and discuss future plans.
Senior Division Participants

Session Details

4 Tools, 6 Steps (Dr. Ed Selby)
Perhaps you have heard that there’s more to brainstorming than just brainstorming? The session will focus on exploring a few of the thinking tools for generating and focusing ideas.

Brainstorming with post-its, SCAMPER, Paired-Comparison Analysis, and other thinking tools will be introduced, modeled, and practiced through collaboration with others. These tools have been used around the globe for decades with students and adults of all ages, in all academic areas and all problem solving arenas, to boost high-level problem solving.

Over the past decades, Dr. Ed Selby, Dr. Donald Treffinger, and others have developed, perfected, and shared Creative Problem Solving with thousands of educators through their books, research articles, online modules, and face to face workshops such as this one.

Audience: All attendees interested in building their toolbox for creative thinking
The Case for Green: From Less Bad to More Good
In this session, we will explore how “business as usual” is changing the marketplace and how consumers face their environmental impact through purchase decisions. Film-maker Nathan Havey highlights the flaws with “clicktivism” but we know that clicks are tracked, customers vote with their dollars, and businesses respond to market demands.

During our time, participants will learn about greenwashing, examine how companies are addressing climate change, and leave with a stronger sense of agency for impact. We will also consider what it means to be an “activist” for sustainability and climate action.

Audience: All attendees interested in building their knowledge of air quality and related issues
Teach the Future
Students learn a lot about the past, as they should. The past contains our culture and its knowledge and traditions that students should know in order to be competent adults in the future. But the past is not the future. They are similar, of course, but not identical. As a result, students may not be prepared for a future that contains novelty and surprise.

Of course, we cannot know how the future will be different from the past, but we can prepare for them anyway by extrapolating trends from the past, imagining plausible disruptions in the future, and articulating our values for a better future. This session describes why and how we should include the future in the standard K-12 and college curriculum.
IU Woodland Campus Tour: Restoring Midwestern Ecosystems
Students will be taken on an hour-long tour that highlights IU’s natural heritage and the incredible biodiversity of the Midwest. On the tour, students will be led through a variety of different habitats such as forests, prairies and wetlands. Students will be taught to understand the difference between native and invasive species, and see firsthand the negative impacts that invasive species have had on Midwestern ecosystems.

Following the conclusion of the tour, students will be instructed how to remove invasive shrub species such as Asian Bush Honeysuckle (ABH) from wooded areas on campus. Students will gain practical experience in ecological restoration and will be able to apply the skills they learn in future conservation initiatives, internships and career paths.

This session is also offered Saturday.

Audience: Attendees interested in building their knowledge about air quality and related issues.
The Art of Storytelling Workshop
Bring your stories to life through Scenario Performance and Scenario Writing. Scenario Performance and Scenario Writing allow each student to create a story and tell it to an audience, themed after one of Future Problem Solving’s annual topics. Learn how you can build strong communication skills through storytelling, develop speaking skills, and gain confidence and readiness to speak to others through stories. In our workshop you will cover the following elements:

Creating the Storyline:
Developing the Storyline
Characterization
Creative Thinking
Connection to Audience
Reaction Thinking

Storytelling Performance:
Eye Contact
Gestures
Voice
Facial Expressions
Styles of Scenario Performance

Saturday, June 8

WHENWHAT (WHERE)WHO
9:00 AM – 11:00 AMBoosting Cognitive Development in High Ability Scholars at Home
Presenter: Corey Gray
(Hodge Hall 2057)
Learn how parents can partner with their child’s educator to boost cognitive skills, sustain academic achievement, and increase motivation with four key principles.
Coaches
Educators
Parents
Other Adults
9:00 AM – 11:00 AMImprov! Workshop
(Hodge Hall 2075)
Learn how improv can help students develop public speaking skills and grow comfortable speaking in front of an audience.
Students
9:00 AM – 11:00 AMVisual Arts: A Creative Extension of the 6-Step Process
(Foster/Gresham)
This hands-on session inspires you to use your artistic skills for analyzing your research, as well as applying mediums to show your ideas as you brainstorm for each step of the process.
Attendees with experience in the 6-step process
9:00 AM – 11:00 AMVIEW Problem Solving Style
(Briscoe SAR)
Learn about YOUR problem solving style and how teamwork is enhanced by knowing and appreciating problem solving styles.
Global Issues Competitors Interested Adults
2:00 PM – 4:00 PMIU Woodland Campus Tour: Restoring Midwestern Ecosystems
(Meet in front of IMU)
Students will be taken on an hour-long tour that highlights IU’s natural heritage and the incredible biodiversity of the Midwest.
Session also offered on Friday
All Attendees
2:00 PM – 4:00 PMCircus of Imagination
(IMU – Whittenberger Auditorium)
Welcome to Puppetry, the Greatest Show on Earth! Be inspired by a marvelous menagerie of circus characters as ordinary objects perform extraordinary feats with help from audience volunteers. Only offered on Saturday
All Attendees
2:00 PM – 5:00 PMMAGIC Collaborative Experience Workshop
(Foster/Gresham)
Come meet other problem solvers and explore the six-step process. MAGIC teams will be randomly formed so you are working with other attendees from different affiliates. This experience is non-competitive and encourages the spirit of problem solving.
Students
2:00 PM – 5:00 PMScenario Writing Team Workshop (Non-Competitive)
(DeVault Alumni Center – Kelley Dining Room)
Writers will brainstorm, collaborate, and write a group spontaneous scenario based on the International Conference future scene.
Creative Writers
Scenario Writers
2:00 PM – 4:00 PMEnhancing Problem Solving with Project Management Workshop
Presenters: Karen Dove & Peter Monkhouse
(Briscoe SAR)
This exciting, hands-on workshop will provide an introduction to project management and how it can be used to solve global problems.
All Attendees
Community Projects Competitors

Session Details

Boosting Cognitive Development in High Ability Scholars at Home (Corey Gray)
Join Corey Gray, Middle School Educator and doctoral student from the University of Georgia, as we explore methods and strategies to increase and support the cognitive development of high ability learners at home. Learning never stops, neither does the development of a child’s brain. Let’s learn how parents can partner with their child’s educator to boost cognitive skills, sustain academic achievement, and increase motivation with four key principles!
Improv! Workshop
Let’s Get Creative with IMPROV! Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live performance in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw on some other source of inspiration to get started.

Learn how improv can help students develop public speaking skills and grow comfortable speaking in front of an audience. Improv can help Future Problem Solving students boost their creativity and brainstorm ideas. In our workshop, we will cover the following elements:

Whole-group improvisation
One-on-one interactive improvisation
Small group improvisation
Using “yes” and “accept” for improv storytelling
Always be listening
Relax and have fun

Audience: Students interested in storytelling, Scenario Performance, or theatrical improv
Visual Arts: A Creative Extension of the 6-Step Process
Coaches and students, many of you prefer to express yourselves in an artistic “language” whether it be doodling with various mediums, creating things with paper clips, or flying messages across the room with paper aerials. This hands-on session will inspire you to use your artistic skills for analyzing your research, as well as applying mediums to show your ideas as you brainstorm for each step of the process.

Coaches:
Do you have problem solvers that are still beginners but think they’ve “got the process?”
Do you have students who have been participating in Future Problem Solving since fourth grade and are seeking fresh inspiration?
Do you have students who have trouble expressing their creative ideas in writing?

Students:
Have you ever wondered how you might express your ideas in a more hands-on way while applying them to the six-step problem-solving process?
How creating some simple art forms while brainstorming might help you to better flesh out your written ideas?
How your research might make more sense if you built a shadow box or created some sidewalk art as you develop a vision for the future in relation to the topic you’re researching?

Audience: Attendees with experience in the 6-step problem-solving process interested in expanding their creativity with the visual arts
VIEW Problem Solving Style
Join this session to learn about YOUR problem-solving style and how teamwork is enhanced by knowing and appreciating problem solving styles. Exploring these styles helps teams understand each other and work effectively together.

This session will be the most beneficial for middle and senior division Global Issues competitors and adult leaders of problem-solving students. We encourage Global Issues teams to come together.

Audience: Global Issues competitors, interested adults
IU Woodland Campus Tour: Restoring Midwestern Ecosystems
Students will be taken on an hour-long tour that highlights IU’s natural heritage and the incredible biodiversity of the Midwest. On the tour, students will be led through a variety of different habitats such as forests, prairies and wetlands. Students will be taught to understand the difference between native and invasive species, and see firsthand the negative impacts that invasive species have had on Midwestern ecosystems.

Following the conclusion of the tour, students will be instructed how to remove invasive shrub species such as Asian Bush Honeysuckle (ABH) from wooded areas on campus. Students will gain practical experience in ecological restoration and will be able to apply the skills they learn in future conservation initiatives, internships and career paths.

This session is also offered Friday.

Audience: Attendees interested in building their knowledge about air quality and related issues.
Circus of Imagination
Welcome to Puppetry, the Greatest Show on Earth! Be inspired by a marvelous menagerie of circus characters as ordinary objects perform extraordinary feats with help from audience volunteers. This performance is only offered on Saturday.

Audience: All attendees interested in puppetry
MAGIC Collaborative Experience Workshop
Come meet other problem solvers and explore the Future Problem Solving 6-step process. MAGIC teams will be randomly formed so you are working with other attendees from different affiliates. This experience is non-competitive and encourages the spirit of problem solving.

Audience: All student participants interested in writing, the 6-step process, and collaboration
Scenario Writing Team Workshop (Non-Competitive)
Join other writers and create a futuristic group scenario. In this session, writers will brainstorm, collaborate, and write a group spontaneous scenario based on the International Conference future scene.

Writers are encouraged to collaborate and share their ideas as members collectively decide on a general theme and setting for a futuristic scenario, using the future scene as inspiration. Each team member writes a section or part of the group scenario. Scenarios will be discussed and shared during culminating events. Ideas and creativity will be celebrated.

Audience: Creative writers, current scenario writers, and those interested in becoming creative scenario writers
Enhancing Problem Solving with Project Management Workshop
Presenters: Karen Dove & Peter Monkhouse
This exciting, hands-on workshop will provide you with an introduction to project management and how it can be used to solve global problems. By the end of the session, you will be able to identify project management concepts, understand how it relates to your everyday activities, and use it to address complex, global issues. In addition, you will get to test your problem-solving skills with a challenging and fun team activity. This is one workshop you don’t want to miss.

Audience: Anyone interested in developing new skills in project management, community project team members.

Hands-On Learning and Science Opportunity

Geological and Water Survey’s Learning Lab

The IGWS Learning Lab is an experiential learning center that brings our collections out of storage for hands-on discovery. Part museum, part lab, and part classroom, the Learning Lab is where you can compare thousands of rocks, minerals, and fossils, create art inspired by our collections, explore real-time datasets, and participate in interactive activities. Pull open drawers to discover real specimens and question the world beneath your feet using scientific evidence.

The Learning Lab is open to people of all ages and abilities.

  • WHEN: Tuesdays–Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • WHERE: Room 1011 of the IU Geology Building
  • WHO: All division attendees interested in hands-on learning and science

After you explore the Learning Lab, extend your visit by touring our exhibits. Rotating displays on a wide variety of earth science topics are located in the east lobby of the Geology Building. Exhibits feature select objects from IGWS collections. This walk-in learning lab from Indiana University will be available from 10:00 PM – 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday.

Attachments

Tentative Agenda (PDF)

Session Descriptions (PDF)

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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. She was trained and applied the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities, which helped widen the educational scope and boundaries beyond the U.S. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for state level certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education.

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.