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How do STEM and Future Problem Solving align?

Our interdisciplinary program provides teachers with standards-based and skill-based resources to meaningfully engage students while building knowledge and skills. Educators of all subjects and ages adapt our content to their specific needs.

In education, there is a focus on increasing STEM opportunities for students. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science. There is a push for all students from PreK to higher education to have access to STEM focused opportunities to ensure their 21st century career readiness and global competitiveness.

STEM education teaches thinking and problem-solving skills that are transferable to many other endeavors. STEM literacy gives individuals a better capacity to make informed choices. A STEM-literate public will be better equipped to conduct thoughtful analysis and problem solving, propose innovative solutions, and handle rapid technological change. Students engaged in STEM activities are better prepared to participate in civil society.

Alignment with STEM skills

Future Problem Solving asks students to engage in multidisciplinary learning, produce writing and presentations, and make tangible positive contributions to their communities. Through our programs, students develop the skills needed to be successful in STEM classrooms, programs, and careers.

Science

Students learn the six-step problem-solving process, which develops skills of critical thinking, inquisitiveness, and logical reasoning. These skills align with those needed to be a successful scientist and students are more likely to understand the importance of the scientific method.

Technology

Students use technology to research, write, plan, organize, produce and perform throughout our programs. Students also research current technologies and develop ideas of how these technologies may change in the future.

Engineering

Students learn the 6-step problem-solving process in order to engineer real change in their communities and to envision imagined, positive futures. The skills needed for engineering, systems thinking, and design thinking, are embedded into our programs.

Math

Students learn to closely read complex texts and interpret data to inform their own understanding, as well as how they plan community projects. Students measure their own progress through qualitative and quantitative measures, and analyze their own data to present to diverse audiences.

Program connections

Students develop skills in our programs that are directly related to skills needed in STEM professions.

Global Issues

Students research topical real-world issues and interpret current events and trends as they predict how these issues, products, and technologies may change in the future. Each year, students research at least one topic directly related to science and technology.

Community Projects

Students research, analyze, develop an underlying problem, and create an action plan to address a local issue. This process shares much in common with the scientific method and students continuously re-evaluate their work and its impact throughout their project.

Creative Writing and Storytelling

Students write creative stories about the future, integrating details about technologies of today advanced to an imagined future.

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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.