Here's an example of how to use a picture of a windmill as a source of idea stimulation. The problem involves improving a household telephone. First, describe the picture shown in Figure 5.1.
There is a windmill. It is down by the old windmill stream (not the river, but the stream). It's where I first met you. The air is relatively calm. The wind turns the blades, which turn gears to pump water out of the fields. The faster the wind blows, the faster the blades turn. The windmill building provides protection from the elements. Many windmills are needed to pump out all the water.
Next, use the descriptions to spark ideas. Here are some examples:
• Put the telephone on tiny wheels to roll around on a desk (from "The wind turns the blades").
• Add an LCD panel that shows your name and welcomes you every time you pick up the phone to make a call (from "It's where I first met you").
• Make a telephone receiver that is shaped like a boat and floats in water (from "pump water out of the fields").
• Use different sound effects to notify users of incoming calls, such as driving rain, pounding surf, or hail (from "The windmill building provides protection from the elements").
• Create an inflatable telephone (from "pump out all the water").
101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com
Was this article helpful?