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Lesson 3:  Define a Problem

Task 1: Perspective of the USER
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Meet Mr. Fookwire:  A good way to truly understand the needs of the user is to use an interview. An interview is a simple way to ask questions from the user to make sure we really understand the need. To understand the need, we need to learn what the user
says, thinks, feels and does. Keep that in mind as we watch this video.
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Mr. Fookwire needs our help!  Before we can help him, we have to understand:
  • What is he thinking?
  • What has he already done to solve the problem?
  • How is he feeling about the problems?
  • What did he say about the problem?
Task 2: Formulating Questions for Research
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Why are squirrels eating bird food from bird feeders?  Let's watch this video and see if you can think of other questions we should ask and investigate!
Did you hear the narrator say squirrels lose some of their
food source in the summer? That could be why they eat bird seed. That is an important question. Why are squirrels eating bird seed?”
What questions did you think of while watching the video?  Let's record them!

Based on your ideas, and things I have been thinking about, here are three questions we need to research so we can better define the problem and the need of the user. 


How will the answers to these questions help us?

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We will be looking at various resources to research the answers to these questions.  We will use this graphic organizer to record the answers we find together!
Click on document to download and enlarge.
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Why are squirrels eating bird food?
Resources:  Click on image to see full article.
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How much does birdseed cost?

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What bird feeders are currently available to stop squirrels?
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1.  Look at your Things That Bug Me! problem log. 
2.  Select one problem that you feel is VERY important to solve and you are excited to research.
3.  Record your problem statement on the graphic organizer.  Be sure to write who your USER is and the NEED.
4.  Be curious and write down questions you have about this problem.
5.  Look at websites, magazines and books that will help you answer your questions.  Talk to someone who may be an expert on your problem and record your answers in the NOTES section.
6.  Conference with your teacher to share your questions and research.
Remember to add problems to your Things That Bug Me! problem log.
Research is a very important part of the invention process.  You can go to websites, books, magazines, videos and other people who are experts in the area you are researching to learn more about your problem and ways to solve it.  Print the document below to record your source and what you learned.
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