PLTW EDD: Unint II, Lesson 1 - Writing A Problem Statement


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Writing A Problem Statement

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  • The first step in every technical problem-solving endeavor is to identify the need or problem. [click] But before you can solve the problem, you need to know exactly what the problem is. [click] A well-written problem statement allows you to focus your effort and provides a measure against which to measure the success of the design.
  • In order to be useful, the problem statement must have the following characteristics. [Readthrough the bullet list]. Finally, in order for the solution to be valuable, the problem must be valid. That is, you should be able to find reliable sources that also identifies the need for a solution to the problem.
  • Here is an example of a statement that expresses a general problem. However, this isn’t a good problem statement. [click] However, if we add some more information and answer the Who, What, Where, When and How Many questions, we can create a good problem statement. [Click through the questions]
  • [Ask students to write a good problem statement for this problem.][click] Answers to these questions may help you write a good problem statement.
  • PLTW EDD: Unint II, Lesson 1 - Writing A Problem Statement

    1. 1. Writing a Problem Statement
    2. 2. Writing a Problem Statement • Why write a problem statement? • What makes a good problem statement? • Problem statement examples
    3. 3. Research and Exploration Design and Construction Testing, Documentation, and Presentation Problem Selection Design Specification Testing Criteria & Method Topic Background Decision Matrix Testing Procedure Problem Statement Concept Testing Physical Testing Statement of Purpose Design Proposal Record Data Cited Validation Gantt Chart (timeline) Critical Design Review Cited Justification Sketching Refinement Redesign and Refine Past & Present Solutions Technical Drawing Re-test Market Research Material List Determine Conclusion Problem Proposal Cost Multimedia Display Tool Selection Web Page Tool Safety Research Paper Mock Up & Modeling Electronic Portfolio Prototype Construction Problem Statement • Focus effort • Provide a measure of success Why write a problem statement?
    4. 4. What Makes a Good Problem Statement? • Concise • Leaves room for multiple solutions • Does not imply a solution • Specific enough to be solvable in the given time frame and with available resources • Answers the questions: • Who has the problem? • What exactly is the problem? • Where does the problem exist? • When has it happened and for how long? • How prevalent is the problem (statistics)? • Is the problem valid? (Who says there is a problem?)
    5. 5. Problem Statement Example 1 Lots of people go fishing for red fish and do not catch anything. There aren’t as many red fish as there used to be. Game fishermen fishing in the lower Laguna Madre of Texas reported between 2002-2007 a decrease of 20% in red drum (i.e., sciaenops ocellatus). This loss can be attributed to premature death due to mouth infections caused when undersized fish are caught and released. Who? What? Where? When? How Many?
    6. 6. Problem Statement Example 2 Car accidents are occurring because the intersection needs to be redesigned. What are some issues with this problem statement? •Only cars or all vehicles? •Are vehicles hitting vehicles? Other objects? Pedestrians? •What is the current design of the intersection? •Does the intersection really need to be redesigned, or could the solution involve the lights, speed limits, lane configurations, traffic violation enforcement, etc.? . Revise the problem statement
    7. 7. Writing a Problem Statement • Why write a problem statement? • What makes a good problem statement? • Problem statement examples
    8. 8. Image Resources iStockphoto. Retrieved December 7, 2009, from