The Challenge Problems dive into various aspects of problems solving and critical thinking, some to the advanced college level. They intertwine three strands - Problem-Solving People, Mathematical Intuitions, and Social Science Explorations.
Many programs use these courses in "seat-time" environments for early finishers, who move seamlessly into the Challenge Problems while other students continue working on the CSM Course. The Challenge Problems are included at no cost with CSM.
Problem-Solving People follows the residents of the fictional town of Hutterville through their careers and the problems they encounter. Professions include a veterinarian, reporter, skateboard shop owner, college student, and more. Problem-Solving People builds an exploration mindset to problem solving, critical and logical thinking, persistence, attention to detail, and self-efficacy.
Mathematical Intuitions builds math confidence, fluency, and engagement. Topics covered include statistics, percent change, geometry, and more. Concepts are taught without lessons by presenting problems of increasing depth and complexity. For example, there are over 150 complex problems on means and medians that build deep intuitions about properties of distributions and don't require a calculator!
Social Science Explorations create engagement with research in topics such as Becoming an Expert and Perceptions of Fairness. Students study seminal experiments in the field and draw conclusions to confirm or reject hypotheses. In addition to introducing students to basic experimental design and data interpretation, Social Science Explorations also develops informational text literacy and critical thinking.