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What supporting materials are required for projects?

Students showcase their creativity as they present their project through multiple media. The supporting materials offer additional ways in which the team can share the efforts of the project and the impact it has had on their community.

Requirements
All projects competing at the International Conference are required to complete four items: a portfolio, a promotional video, a tabletop display, and an interview. Students and coaches should check with their regional affiliate about supporting material requirements at the local level. 

Portfolio

Students visually document their project actions and accomplishments, offering a detailed look at the work from start to finish. The portfolio serves as evidence to support claims made in the proposal and report.

Guidelines
Page count must not exceed 20 double-sided or 40 single-sided pages/slides of standard size paper (Letter or A4).

Electronic portfolios must be accessible in an offline format, such as a printed portfolio or a compressed PDF.

Projects competing at the International Conference can include one page (front and back) to share “Updates” since the proposal and report submission. This page does not count against the page limit.

Promotional video

In Project B.A.L.D.W.I.N (Books Available for Lending and Distributing Within Our Ideal Networks) students recognized that the lack of books in homes in their community was impacting student learning. They created their Community Project to increase access to books in order to support the reading skills of students in their school. The junior team from New York earned first place at the 2023 International Conference.

Students will create a promotional video to submit for competition. The video will be submitted as one unlisted video link (likely hosted on YouTube), that lasts no longer than 3 minutes. Students are encouraged to develop creative presentations that promote their project and its goals. It might serve as a call to action, highlight the accomplishments achieved, recruit participants, or educate the community.

Guidelines
The video can be no longer than 3 minutes long

Students should consider different video styles: demonstration, educational event, explainer, public service announcement, interviews, testimonial, vlog, etc.

Authenticity and content should take priority over production quality.

Display

Students prepare a tabletop display to present their project’s objectives and accomplishments as effectively as possible to the audience of evaluators and event attendees. Students should capture the audience’s attention and communicate the project work and outcomes through their display.

Guidelines
The maximum height of the display from the tabletop is 50 inches (127cm)

Creatively enhancing, adapting, and modifying the provided display board is encouraged.

At International Conference, Future Problem Solving will provide each project with a standard size backboard, typically 36”H X 48” W (1.2 m x 91.4 cm), which must be incorporated into the display.

Interview

The interview provides evaluators with an increased understanding of the project while allowing students to share their passion for the project.  This is not a prepared presentation, but a conversation between students and evaluators. 

Guidelines
All interviews will address the step in the problem-solving process that was most important to the project.

Individual projects have 15 minute interviews

Team projects have 30 minute interviews.

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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.