Problem awareness: If there is a problem, there is an improvement!

We always say health comes first. Because without health, material wealth and nothing in life matter. As long as a person is healthy, he can develop. However, there are some factors that affect this development. The most important are needs and problems.

One of the primary goals in education is to raise individuals who can solve problems. It can be helpful to both themselves and others. Approaches such as IBSE, PBL, Design Thinking, STEM are applied to gain problem-solving skills. The most basic factor that ensures success is to make students good observers and make them aware of the problems.

Creating problem awareness

We use cyclical steps such as the Design process and Innovation process in all activities in the Technology and Design course. But the first step of these processes is always the Problem. However, a student who understands and defines the problem well can be successful in the continuation of the process. To achieve this, we dedicate 1-2 weeks of Design Thinking to the problem phase only.

Far away from known to unknown

We return to this activity before the inventions of the items they use most in daily life. Sometimes we do this through a drama activity, sometimes through brainstorming.

What kind of problems did the students have without the pencil case? Were we getting wet before the umbrella was invented? What if there is only hot water flowing from the fountains in our homes? How hard it is to work out with these leather shoes! What kind of life did people lead without these and many items that are so familiar to us today?

First, what they are for is determined by brainstorming about pencil box, umbrella and sneakers. They are asked to imagine how these needs were met and what problems might have been encountered when they were not present. In this way, it is realized that the simple items we are used to using actually solve many problems.

It’s your turn

Each student is asked to choose one or more of the simple items they use most in daily life. It is ensured that he thinks and lists what problems may have occurred while this item is missing. Students can also distinguish between these problems which are important or not.

Innovation and STEM time

Now we’ve learned to spot the problems. So let’s find out the aspects where the available items have their imperfection.

If only it had the following feature? What if it were like this rather than like this?

New problems do not always await us. Sometimes solved problems also await improvement. Let’s continue to apply STEM and innovation with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Baki KARAKOÇ

Technology Design teacher Izmir in Turkey. Scientix Ambassador / Education Manager / Google Certified Educator. Project Manager and Coordinator

16 thoughts on “Problem awareness: If there is a problem, there is an improvement!

  1. We studied with our students with pleasure.
    There is enlightening information, health for your labor. We thank you.

  2. Your questions contribute to develop the critical thinking skills and give fundamentals about STEM in this article.Congratulations!

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