2009 Senior Grand Champion
Pecatonica High School
A survey showed that an alarming number of our high school students engaged in risky driving behavior. Our project DRIVE – Driving Responsibly In Vehicles Everywhere - aimed to increase driving safety in our student population. Events included a DRIVE Day with a speaker and activities that showed students how certain behaviors can affect one’s ability to concentrate while driving. We also taught students at the elementary school the importance of being a good passenger and buckling up. Our final event involved more speakers and a mock accident staged with the help of local emergency services and law enforcement agencies.
2008 Senior 2nd Place
Luxemburg-Casco High Sch
To honor Luxemburg’s Centennial, our team transformed our outdated, unsafe, and rarely-used village park into an inviting location for family recreation. We demolished old park equipment, spread two semi loads of mulch beneath new equipment, built ten children’s picnic tables, painted recycling barrels, and constructed park benches and a project sign. We constructed a fire truck climbing toy, painted the older play equipment and the park shelter, and sealed/painted the basketball court. We obtained funding for new lighting and a security camera. In May, we encouraged public participation with our second “Music in the Park” event.
Community Problem Solving (CmPS)
What is Community Problem Solving?
Community Problem Solving (CmPS) is a team or individual activity in which students identify real problems in their school or community and implement real solutions. Students use the steps and skills of the problem solving process from the Future Problem Solving Program as they work on their project. However, since real life is not always as organized as an academic exercise, the process may not proceed neatly from step one through step six. Also, projects may not be completely wrapped up by the time they must be submitted, and some projects may even take more than one year.
Why Community Problem Solving?
Today’s students will be running the world in the 21st century. What better way to prepare them than by teaching them to think systematically about problematic situations, to gather information to understand the situation, and to evaluate multiple solutions in order to best address the situation? Students involved in Community Problem Solving learn very powerful lessons about creating change, about dealing with local authorities and organizations, and about making an impact. The implementation of real solutions gives students a strong sense of accomplishment, and helps them to see the practical applications of the processes and skills that they have been learning.
How do students participate in Community Problem Solving?
Individuals or teams of any size may participate in Community Problem Solving in three divisions: Junior (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-9), and Senior (grades 10-12). For a team, you may want at least 3 or 4 students, and for large projects groups of up to 15 are possible. You may have more than 15 students involved; however, please note that a maximum of 15 students may participate in the CmPS competition at the International Conference if the team qualifies. Since CmPS projects are long-term activities, lasting up to a year or more, students need to be committed to following through with the activity. Complex projects may take quite a bit of organization, with tasks divided among the participants. Having a background in the Global Issues competition or curricular components of FPS is a great start for students in CmPS, but it is not required. If they have not been involved with FPS, students do need to be taught the problem solving process as part of their community problem solving experience.
How can I get started with my students?
Training in the problem solving process is important for coaches of Community Problem Solving groups. Workshops are usually scheduled for fall in Wisconsin. (Please call March-September for more information.) If you are not able to attend a training workshop, resources are available to help you “train yourself.” Check the sales page under Coaches for essential publications available from fpspimart.org. Publications for Global Issues Problem Solving teach the problem solving process. You will also find publications for CmPS. Also download the CmPS information on the Registration and Fees page. If you wish, we can put you in touch with other adults who have coached CmPS groups and have taken teams to both State Bowl and the International Conference.
See REGISTRATION & FEES for project information and entry forms
How do I register students for Community Problem Solving?
CmPS Coach and Project information, entry forms and due dates are available on the Registration and Fees page. Wisconsin also has a supplement to the project requirements. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for this information. Let the office know if you would like to be put in touch with an experienced CmPS coach. The entry fee is submitted along with the entry materials, which must include a written report, addendum pages, and a scrapbook as described in the CmPS materials. The postmark date is in mid to late February. Students may continue to work on their projects after the initial submission date.
How are community problems evaluated?
CmPS projects are read by a state evaluator in early March. The aspects considered are the written report (overview of the project, implementation of the action plan, and project outcomes), the addendum, and the scrapbook. Winning individuals and teams in each division are invited to attend the opening ceremony of the State Bowl to set up a visual display and give an oral presentation about the project. First place projects with enough points may qualify for the International Conference; this determination is made by the CmPS evaluation coordinator. High quality second place projects may sometimes be submitted to the international office for an additional consideration.
Problem Solving Process
Develop an Area of Concern
1 - Identify Challenges
2 - Select an Underlying Problem
3 - Produce Solution Ideas
4/5 - Use Criteria to Evaluate Solution Ideas
6 - Develop an Action Plan
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