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

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

TEAMS

Project Outreach

We are Project Outreach, one of the Community Problem Solving teams from Mahwah High School, New Jersey. Project Outreach’s objective is to implement support initiatives for Multilingual Students within our school community. A multilingual student is a student whose first language is not English and who is in the process of learning English. Our goals include social inclusion, educational support, and providing basic needs for the Multilingual Students in need. By our project’s closing, we hope that we create a more positive high school experience for our Multilingual Students now and for the years to come.

New Jersey High School – Mahwah High School (Coaches: Justin Saputski and Christine Hartigan Miller)

Project Alleviate

Given that societal factors have adversely affected the mental health of the youth today, resulting in youths being unable to cope, Project Alleviate aims to improve their mental wellness, whilst providing them the much needed support, destigmatising and raising awareness for these issues to improve their understanding regarding mental health issues via a three pronged approach. The three approaches include increasing interaction and support for these youths facing mental health issues, promoting mental wellness and assisting those who face mental health issues to seek help and finally, raising awareness about mental health issues.

Singapore Future Problem Solving – Hwa Chong Institution (Coach: Anuradha Boyanapali)

Operation: Skill Drop

Operation: Skill Drop is a community-wide educational program created to provide the students of EHS with knowledge of valuable life skills through in-person seminars given by professionals and prominent members of the community so that students can have the tools and skills necessary to become successful in their adult life.

Texas Future Problem Solving – Early High School (Coach: Jamee Atkinson)

E=MC^2

After almost 12 months of Distance Learning due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Standardized test results revealed that countless students in the Davis School District struggled with fundamental math concepts–the essential building blocks for all future math instruction. Our team determined that there was a lack of accessible and innovative supplemental math instruction opportunities available to 4th-6th students. We created and staffed E=MC^2 (Everybody Belongs in the Math Club Community), an afterschool program focused on engaging students with math fundamentals using an entertaining and individualized approach, so they are well prepared to succeed as they advance in math instruction.

California Future Problem Solving – Davis Senior High School (Coach: Diana Reynolds)

The W.E.S.T. Project

The W.E.S.T. Project is a project dedicated to spreading mental health awareness in our community. We have limited mental health resources in our area, so we decided to create one of our one. We created a website with informative resources about mental health, and have spent the past several months spreading awareness about mental health. Our website has information on mental illnesses, an anonymous blog, emergency hotlines, and much more. We’ve also created social media accounts to promote our project. We are currently working on branching out our website throughout our community, and are looking forward to whatever comes next for The W.E.S.T. Project.

Kentucky Future Problem Solving – West Carter High School (Coach: Chris Blankenship)

Ground to Ground

Our team was saddened to see the wasted food in our school’s cafeteria. They realized that the food waste could be composted to begin and grow a school garden that would eventually provide for the school’s salad bar. The team built a compost bin, cleaned and repaired the greenhouse, and weeded long-ignored raised beds. In order to keep the project going from year to year, they included the elementary students in planting seeds and garden maintenance. We hope food waste will be returned to the ground to grow new food in the ground for years to come!

Washington Future Problem Solving – North River School (Coach: Caitee Reman)

Spill the T.E.A.

Spill the T.E.A. provides a safe space for teens to hear and relate to their peers’ opinions. By allowing young adults to discuss various topics freely, the podcast aims to boost confidence and create a sense of validation among listeners. Through collaborative efforts, the students managed the podcast effectively, covering a range of relatable subjects for their peers. The project’s impact on the community demonstrated its success in providing relevant and enjoyable content for young adults.

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

Project L.E.T.S TALK (Learning English Through Storytelling)

Hello, we are project L.E.T.S. TALK (Learning English Through Storytelling). Due to the lack of ESL teachers in our district and general learning setbacks in Title One schools, we have made it our mission to help the young generation of non-native English-speaking students in our community. We host weekly sessions at an elementary in our district, in which we create fun activities for kids to enjoy while practicing their linguistic skills. Through this program, we hope to find a confident and creative voice in every child!

Texas Future Problem Solving – Glenda Dawson High School (Coaches: Carrie Cummings, Marissa Blakley, and Amber McCoy-Olivo)

Pledge4Platelets

Pledge4Platelets is an initiative with a mission to increase platelet donation awareness. We have educated numerous people at Red Cross events, our school, and our police station about the significance of platelet donations through face-to-face interactions, a website, pamphlets, and wristbands. We have convinced many who haven’t previously donated platelets to pledge to become a new donor, and even more community members promised to spread the word. This initiative has been fulfilling by allowing us to improve the health and overall well-being of our community of Northeast Ohio, because just one platelet donation saves three lives.

Ohio Future Problem Solving – Solon High School (Coach: Sabrina Tirpak)

NOSH Nutritional Odyssey for Student Health

NOSH (Nutrition Odyssey for Student Health) is based in New Jersey. The goal of the project is to improve upon nutrition-related resources in schools and inspire students to build habits that will ultimately help them lead healthier lives. So far, NOSH has integrated nutrition into a school curriculum, as well as hosted events in the local community to increase the accessibility of nutrition information available to students. In the future, NOSH hopes to continue to offer nutrition education and foster an environment where students are prepared to make healthy dietary choices to improve their physical and mental health.

New Jersey Future Problem Solving – West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (Coach: Donna Grygiel)

Future Forward

The mission of Future Forward is to make college and career readiness accessible. High school students in small towns like Danville do not have access or funding for college and career readiness programs like students living in more affluent urban communities. Our team created the Viking College & Career Lab as a resource for students needing SAT/ACT/AP exam prep, write their college & scholarship essays, and hold informational meetings. Working with Congresswoman Robin Kelly we organized the Congressional District 2 Downstate Youth Conference to offer area students the chance to share the issues they face planning for college and careers.

Illinois Future Problem Solving – Danville High School (Coach: Lori Woods)

Project Majulah

Project Majulah aims to promote the appreciation of Singaporean culture, directly addressing the apathy towards culture that is especially pertinent among youths. We cover various niche aspects that contribute to our nation’s identity such as local theater, foods and other oft-overlooked facets of daily life. By presenting this information in an engaging manner using well-designed newsletters and workshops, we hope to pique the interest of youths on Singaporean topics. Additionally, we provide platforms for students to express their passion for Singapore and what Singapore means to them, thereby fostering a greater sense of belonging and strengthening their identity as Singaporeans.

Singapore Future Problem Solving – Raffles Girls’ School (Mak Wai Ling)

YEP: Youth Election Project

In order to solve the problem of youth voter apathy our team created educational materials on the importance of voting, and provided access to registration.

Kentucky Future Problem Solving – Boyle County High School (Coach: Julie Taylor)

INDIVIDUALS

Advocacy to Mitigate PFAS Contamination for a Safer Mecklenburg Community

The drinking water and food we consume may be contaminated by harmful chemical called PFAS that can cause cancers, birth defects, and other health issues. Recent studies (NIH) show that PFAS is found in nearly 97% of Americans blood. Particularly in NC, the impact is proven by scientific studies and remediation work is in progress. My goal for this project is to help bring awareness to both public and elected officials in order to help gain attention to this issue in order to reduce the health impacts.

North Carolina Future Problem Solving – Ardrey Kell High School (Coach: Lakshmanan Gururajan)

Baking is Love

Nearly 70% of students surveyed in grades 10 and 11 at my school experience high stress on daily. I wondered, how might I develop a creative outlet to reduce stress so that students can relax through a shared community. The ingredients of the Pastry for Pawsitivity Baking Club have combined into a sweet, nurturing environment that continues to flourish, as it does not have a cook time. Instead of just being a consumer, being the producer makes improvements on mental health, and whether it’s the nature of the activity, or being able to share the results with others, baking has the potential to change our lives.

Ohio Future Problem Solving – Orange High (Coach: Joanna McNally)

Understand You: A Holistic Platform for Women’s Fitness

Understand You is a holistic app containing key information about women’s fitness presented in a user-friendly way. Users are provided with accurate information about the benefits of weight lifting, given the opportunity to build a customized fitness plan based on their needs, and given an online AI chatbot. They will be able to debunk myths, learn information, and communicate with an interactive, online fitness community. In this way, women are able to understand their own bodies and take control of their health.

India Future Problem Solving – American International School Chennai (Coach: Priya Arun)

Financing Futures

However, for adolescents, it is especially difficult to obtain adequate financial literacy education. So, how might I increase financial literacy education so that children, grades 5-12 in Brazoria County can make sustainable financial decisions from 2024 and beyond? Through online and direct channels, Financing Futures facilitated games and activities to make learning financial literacy fun and encouraged kids to jumpstart their financial literacy journey.

Texas Future Problem Solving – Glenda Dawson High School (Coaches: Carrie Cummings, Marissa Blakley, and Amber McCoy-Olivo)

Project ADAPT (Addressing Depression and Anxiety in Pre-Teens)

Pre-teenage years are a critical period in one’s development marked by physical, emotional, and social changes. In addition, the transition to middle school makes them particularly vulnerable to mental health issues. Untreated mental health problems and a lack of resources or tools to address mental health concerns during these formative years can have detrimental effects on academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life. Project ADAPT’s aim is to provide resources, tools, and support to pre-teens, especially when they are transitioning from elementary to middle school.

Massachusetts Future Problem Solving – Sharon High School (Coach: Roopali Gandhi)

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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.