Competition is based on the grade level of the participants. The junior division is grades 4-6; the middle division is grades 7-9; the senior division is grades 10-12; and the adult division is open to those individuals who are high school graduates and older.
Action Based Problem Solving Component (AbPS)
This year-long, non-competitive component is designed for use in the regular classroom and introduces students to the skills of creative problem solving in a hands-on, non-threatening manner. Students are encouraged to work on two topics, one per semester. Three divisions are offered: Primary (grades K-3), Junior (grades 3-6) and Middle (grades 6-9).
Global Issues Problem Solving Team Component (GIPS)
Under the guidance of teachers or coaches, teams of 4 individuals use the FPSP six-step model explore challenges and propose action plans to complex societal, scientific, political, economic or technological issues. Topics have included global interdependence, financial security, amateur sports, organ donation, nanotechnology, pandemic, surveillance society, and space.
Teams complete two practice problems and one qualifying problem throughout the school year. Trained evaluators score student work and return it with feedback including suggestions for improvement.
The top scoring teams on the qualifying problem are invited to Affiliate FPS Bowls, held each spring.
Global Issues Problem Solving Individual Component (GIPS)
Individual students also may compete in GIPS competition. They complete the same process as the teams. However, they generate only 8 challenges and 8 solutions. Students may also choose to participate in individual community problem solving.
Community Problem Solving Component ~ CmPS
An individual student or teams of students apply their FPS skills to real problems in their community. A community problem is a problem that exists within the school, local community, region, state or nation. Implementation of the action plan is included in this component. In this component, teams move from hypothetical issues to real- world, authentic concerns.
Community problem solving component fills an essential role by providing the needed guidance and structure for all levels of service learning. By providing a framework for service learning, this component outlines possible service activities for students at three levels of involvement: Community Service, Community Exploration and Community Action.
This activity could meet the community service requirement for students.
Scenario Writing (Grades 4-12)
Students compose futuristic short stories (1,500 words or less) related to one of the current year's topics. Topics this year include biosecurity, the spread of infectious diseases, toxic materials, philanthrocapitalism, and cloud storage. The first place winner in each affiliate program division is invited to the FPSP International Conference.