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Solving the Problem

Step 1. Understand the Problem

Go through each section of the problem carefully.

Make sure each team member understands what is required.

Consult the Program Guide for rules, limitations and definitions

Understand the spirit of the problem, the specific requirements of the problem (and where the points are!)


Step 2. Idea Generation

Generate lots of ideas (keep track of them on paper or whiteboard) 

Don’t evaluate ideas yet… just list them 

Break the problem down into manageable pieces

Encourage wild, creative solutions


Step 3. Solution Focusing

Refine and Evaluate Ideas

Which ideas does the team like best? 

Discuss and evaluate ideas, but don’t criticize. 

Modify ideas to make them better.

Select a preliminary solution.

But what about Outside Assistance?
PDSA Cycle – Plan, Do, Study, Act
Step 4. Plan

Determine Tasks & Timeline

What types of tasks, skills, props, contraptions, needed to complete this solution? 

Who and how will they do these things?

Determine a basic time-line for completing the solution.

Do the items decided upon and created fit the problem specifications? 


Step 5. Do

Get to work! Begin Construction

Prototype, create and build.

Start building things and writing a script.  Evaluate new ideas as they arise. 

Make sure to think about Style


Step 6. Study

Continue to evaluate the solution.

Test the solution. Does it work? Can it be made to work better?

Revise/refine (continuously) and as necessary. 


Step 7. Act

Put it all together

As props, tasks are near completion, or are completed, test them out. 

Does the proposed solution still fit the problem? What problems need to be fixed?

Continue to refine/revise.  Does it work? Is there a better way?


Step 8. Finish Up and Practice

Celebrate major accomplishments as they happen.

Test things out… do they work? Can they work better?

Practice the whole skit. Timing. 

Video your performance. Get the team to judge it. Does it score well in all areas?

Look for problem spots. Ask questions as to how they can improve/address problems.

Make sure the team is prepared to explain how they created their solution?

What happens if something goes wrong?  Contingency plan.


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