Solving Problems…

A student emailed me over the weekend to just “check-in” and see how I was doing up at school “all alone” (not knowing we have summer school, trainings, work, and other activities to keep me busy). 🙂  He reminded me to keep posting on the blog because “it can’t take a vacation just because we do.”  🙂  So, here goes (and I’ll do better about keeping up with it too)…

Last week, in spite of the extreme Texas storms keeping us grounded, a long-time friend/colleague and I made our way to the annual International Future Problem Solving Program Competition at Indiana University in Bloomington.  Being associated with this extraordinary program as a teacher, academic coach, mom, and now evaluator for the past 17 years, this annual opportunity holds special meaning professionally and personally.  Besides the excitement of traveling to various university venues, we are honored and humbled to work with problem solving students around the world in the Community Problem Solving division of the program.  Teams of students from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea, Portugal, and other countries participate in the four-day competition.  In the Community division, students work to solve a local community problem with unique solutions—thinking globally and acting locally to literally making a world of difference in their communities.  The Future Problem Solving Program, started by Dr. Paul Torrence at the University of Georgia in the 20th century, has provided hundreds of thousands of students across the globe the opportunity to actively think, solve, and implement action plans and solutions on a global issues throughout the years.  Topics and solutions vary according to the specific needs of the community or future problem (and I could spend hours blogging about examples).  Just as Einstein himself noted:  “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”   The bottom line…we can all be part of the problem or part of the solution!

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