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What is the Challenges program?

The flexible Challenges program, our newest offering, does not require any prior Future Problem Solving experience or affiliation. Students in grades 5-9 may work on challenges alone or in teams of 2-4 students. All compete together in one open division, no matter the number of students working on a submission. Some of the Challenges are adapted from previous Global Issues topics while others are designed in partnership with experts in the topic field specifically for World Solutions Challenge events.

Students get a 2-3 week window to analyze a specific near-future problem and use our 6-step problem-solving process to develop an action plan. For reference, students competing in our flagship Global Issues program research their topic extensively prior to competition and then must complete all their work within two hours. Individual Challenges may be integrated into classroom curriculum or youth out-of-school activities independently for students in grades 4-12.

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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.