Scenario writing encourages students to develop and submit futuristic scenarios–word pictures of the future. Scenario writing is especially intriguing for students who enjoy creative writing and those identified as gifted in creative writing. Edward Cornish of the World Future Society explains: “A scenario may sound exotic…It is simply a series of events that we imagine happening in the future. Our everyday thinking is filled with little ventures into the mysterious world of tomorrow, or next week, or next year. And these ventures are scenarios.”
As information is gathered and integrated into scenarios, students personally experience the impact of applying what they learn to their respective futures. For the purposes of Future Problem Solving Program International, a scenario is a story that might take place as a logical outgrowth of actions or a story in which one possible outcome of the future is developed through characters and plot. It is a prediction of the future and is written as though the future were the present.
In Scenario Writing, students create their own vision of the futures. Selecting one of the current topics, students are encouraged to use the FPS problem solving model to examine challenges, select a problem area or conflict and produce a resolution or action plan.
To participate in the competitive portion of the program, a scenario writer follows these guidelines: Each scenario must be set at least 20 years in the future with evidence of futuristics. Each scenario must have a recognizable relationship to of the current year’s topics. Scenarios must not exceed 1,500 words. The title must be on the first page of the scenario and the scenario must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman or Arial. Coaches may use the program with one student, several students, or an entire class. One registration is required for each entry. An individual student may submit only one scenario in the competitive round. There is no limit to the number of student scenarios a coach may register.
In the Texas FPSP, scenarios go through three rounds of evaluation and scoring. The first through third place scenario winners are invited to attend the Texas State Bowl, where they each present movie trailers highlighting their scenario storyline.
The top three scenarios in each age division are submitted to the International level of competition from the Texas FPSP.