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Student Work: Project Videos – All 2024 Regional Affiliate Champions (Middle)

The 2024 regional affiliate champion middle division community projects from around the world submitted these summaries and promotional videos to showcase their impact. Each individual and student team applied our problem-solving process in their communities to create lasting change.

INDIVIDUALS

Arrive Alive

The Project Arrive Alive, addresses the safety concerns of students at Indian Trails Middle School (ITMS) while traveling to and from school. The project involves research, meetings with key stakeholders, and proposing safety measures. Efforts include advocating for new sidewalks, conducting surveys, and meeting with school and city officials. Strategies like distributing safety guidelines and equipment, organizing events, and partnering with local agencies to enhance student safety. The project’s sustainability lies in educating students and raising awareness about student safety while traveling to and from school.

Florida Future Problem Solving – Indian Trails Middle School (Coach: Beth Blumengarten)

TEAMS

Project B.O.S.S. (Bringing on Student Startups)

Project BOSS at Indian Trails Middle School targeted teaching foundational business skills to empower students with entrepreneurial mindsets. Consisting of 8 members, the project focused on inspiring young entrepreneurs by creating an entrepreneurial club. Through research, grant applications, and curriculum planning, the team successfully implemented the project. The club sessions engaged students in learning about entrepreneurship through lessons, activities, and interactions with guest speakers. The impact assessment revealed positive feedback and tangible outcomes, such as students starting their own businesses. The initiative aimed to nurture creativity, responsibility, and a business mindset among students, laying the groundwork for future success.

Florida Future Problem Solving – Indian Trails Middle School (Coach: Beth Blumengarten)

CSA Coastal Safety Awareness

CSA’s initiative in Australia’s Illawarra region is to address the critical need for beach safety education. Despite ongoing campaigns, beach incidents have remained consistent due to minimal awareness and high levels of complacency. My mission is to reduce these incidents through raising awareness and educating the local community about beach safety. By providing educational lessons, conducting interviews, holding fundraisers and hosting competitions, CSA has given members of the Illawarra region the opportunity to take control of their health and safety at the beach. In the future, I plan to develop my community outreach programs and collaborate with stakeholders to further reduce the ongoing coastal tragedies.

Australia Future Problem Solving – The Illawarra Grammar School (Coach: Jean Burton)

Project Praesidio

Project Praesidio advocates for mental health and aims to overcome the stigma surrounding mental health issues by normalizing mental well-being and increasing opportunities to engage youths aged 10-17 in mental well-being activities. Through our members’ passion for mental health, we hope to play a part in building a future where our generation can practice self-care consistently and be more open to mental health issues. Our initiatives include exhibitions, a self-care app, a webinar and a children’s picture book which have been received with smiles by our target audience.

Singapore Future Problem Solving – Raffles Girls’ School (Coach: Rachel Pang)

Trash to Treasure

After noticing the immense amount of litter in our community, students of PJHW created Project Trash to Treasure, or T³, with the intent of reducing litter and upcycling it into art. With trash collected through cleanups and a donation drive, we held events with local organizations, established an annual “Trash 2 Treasure” event with a nonprofit, and took part in a district-wide art event where attendees and our team assembled a mural. Moreover, feedback and posts on our Instagram account, pjhw.cmps24, helped us measure our progress. Using these methods, we ascertained our impact on anti-littering and upcycling efforts in Pearland.

Texas Future Problem Solving – Pearland Junior High West (Coach: Lisa Shapiro)

The Helping Hands

Youth homelessness in our local community has risen due to the increase of cost of living in the wake of the global pandemic. Approximately 122,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Australia. Significantly, one third of those who find themselves without a safe or secure place to sleep, on the streets, or couch-surfing, are under the age of 18. We have endeavored to raise awareness of the needs of homeless young people from within our school to the Australian Federal Parliament itself, and have partnered with Wollongong Homeless Hub to support their work in attaining a better future for young homeless people.

Australia Future Problem Solving – The Illawarra Grammar School (Coach: Jean Burton)

Project WON (World Oriented News)

Many teens want to stay informed about current events but find traditional news sources too complicated and often get their information from unreliable social media platforms. This student-led project created engaging weekly news presentations covering politics, sports, current events, weather, and history. Their aim was to provide reliable news sources for their peers at Matanzas High School.

Florida Future Problem Solving – Matanzas High School (Coach: Amy Kopach)

BLOOM

BLOOM works to help teens accept and embrace their bodies, and develop a positive body image. We mainly focus on the negative impacts of social sites, and how the falsities of the media is deteriorating an adolescent’s perception of their body. We saw the drastic measures some of our dearest friends were taking based on what others had told them, and what they had seen on different social media platforms. Together, we decided to form a group, and make resources available to those who needed them when regular school classes and curriculums weren’t providing the information.

New Jersey Problem Solving – Community Middle School (Coach: Rebecca McLelland Crawley)

Juntos Somos Mais Fortes – Together we are stronger

O Barquinho” began a partnership with Torrance Center Portugal in the previous academic year, participating in the project called “Creative problem solving”. In the 2022/2023 academic year, the students from “O Barquinho” won first place in the national competition, thus qualifying for the US international final. We are very excited to be part of this project and to be able to defend it!

Portugal Future Problem Solving – O Barquinho (Coach: Ana Sofia Soberano)

Worlds within Words

Our Year 9 Humanities studies brought us a real awareness of the plights of migrants who leave their home countries under extremely distressing circumstances. We learnt of the added difficulties experienced by asylum seekers who often flee alone, facing a very uncertain future in a new host country enduring a long, often lonely, stressful wait for acknowledgement of their political status. Our goal was to work alongside the Asylum Seekers Support Trust in Auckland, New Zealand to support the emotional well-being of their asylum seekers by providing a library, personal possessions and other basic needs to brighten their daily lives.

New Zealand Future Problem Solving – Kristin School (Coach: Helen Mansfield)

Hygiene Hijinks

Personal hygiene is emerging as a major concern in school-going children. impacting both physical and psychological well-being. In a society where social acceptance is hindered by poor hygiene in children, with 46% of questioned teachers mentioning bullying related to hygiene, how might we improve poor hygiene in children so that social acceptance is improved? We, the Hygiene Hijinks, have resolved to solve this starting from our own school first. We are creating a fun, interactive educational game for kindergarteners and 1st graders. The students were very excited and happy to play the game at the school! It’s just a beginning….

North Carolina Future Problem Solving – Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy (Coach: Vishal Patil)

Project ReTrash

We launched Project ReTrash to address the present problem of inappropriate garbage management. First, we educate and make people aware of the significance of waste sorting and appropriate waste management. We organize advocacy activities for students, staff, and parents to emphasize the significance of waste sorting and the efficient utilization of waste resources. For instance, we gather desk calendar donations to be sent to organizations that help the blind produce braille publications. Additionally, we collect disposable cups and bottles to give to different charities. We have received support from various community organizations to collaborate until the project achieves its objectives.

Thailand Future Problem Solving – Kasetsart University Laboratory School Center for Educational Research and Development (Coaches: Krissana Pokpun and Natnicha Ruenboon)

Project S.O.S. (Solving Our Stress)

Project S.O.S. ( Solving Our Stress) is maximizing stress relief at Smith Middle School in a variety of ways. They have created 2 relaxation rooms (one for staff and one for students) on campus that are furnished with many research based stress relief elements such as chocolate, aromatherapy, plants, and mandalas to color. The team also has a website and social media accounts that provide stress relieving tips and videos.

Texas Future Problem Solving – Smith Middle School (Coaches: Elizabeth Nieto and Maggie Gibson)

Leading with Reading

Illiteracy is actually a lot more common than you think. About 20% of the United States population have little to no literacy. This causes poverty, crime, poor health, and higher public spending. Our team developed strategies to help students achieve grade level reading by 3rd grade, when reading becomes a requirement for all subjects, and students who lack reading skills fall significantly behind their peers.

Florida Future Problem Solving – West Shore Jr/Sr High School (Coach: Chloe Radd)

Compost Making by Seyrek Environmentalists

As Seyrek Environmentalists, we aim to increase the knowledge and awareness of the farmers in Seyrek İnönü Neighbourhood about composting and its use. Accordingly, we aim to transform the region by increasing soil fertility. In line with our goals, we are planning trainings and sample applications in the region in cooperation with various non-governmental organizations (TEMA). The project aims to raise awareness of the people who make a living from farming in the Seyrek İnönü neighborhood about the use and benefits of compost and to ensure that they reflect this in their economic activities.

Türkiye Future Problem Solving – Ekin College (Coach: Kaan Basol)

Weather Warriors

Kids are often freezing or overheating in classes, activities, or simply walking around. This issue exists because kids commonly aren’t taught about appropriate clothing for weather preparedness, or proper awareness and precautions for different conditions and situations. Some kids also do not have access to knowledge about the proper clothing to wear, often guessing what it’s going to be like the entire day and trying to dress appropriately. Quality outdoor clothing can sometimes be a financial hardship to families as well. Weather Warriors aims to help prepare these students for Washington’s changing weather conditions.

Washington Future Problem Solving – Leota MS/Woodinville HS (Coach: Matthew Bohannan)

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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.