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Problem-Solving: Step 4

After you've tested your chosen solution, it's time to evaluate it. In this article, read an example discussion showing how to do that.

This week, we’re going to learn about the final step in the problem-solving process.

Step 4: Evaluate the solution

Evaluate the Solution

Now that we’ve chosen our solution, it’s time to implement it. Let’s have a look at how well our selected idea actually worked.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

The selected idea didn’t work very well, did it? The second part of Step 4 involves evaluating the idea we selected.

Task 1

Read the students’ discussion below and answer the following questions:

  1. Why did their table fail?
  2. What will they change next time?

You can download the answers here: ANSWERS.

Sarah: Well, our table didn’t work very well, did it?

Jin: No, it didn’t. It fell down very quickly.

Omar: I think it fell down due to the length of the legs. They were too long. But the table had to be at least 20 cm tall, so we didn’t have much choice.

Peter: Yes, I agree. Also, I think the table fell down quickly because we didn’t use any triangles as part of the legs. They slipped more easily because of that.

Omar: So, what do you think we need to change?

Sarah: How about we use diagonal tubes between the legs? We could attach one end to the top of a leg, and the other end to the bottom of the next leg. Do you see what I mean?

Peter: Yes, I do. That sounds good. If we do that, we’ll have some triangles as part of the legs. That will make them stronger.

Sarah: Should we keep the legs loose? Or make them tighter?

Peter: Let’s keep the legs loose. If we add some diagonal supports, the problem will be fixed. Do you agree?

Sarah: Yes, I do. I suppose it’s better to have the weight spread over a bigger area.

Jin: Do we have enough newspaper?

Omar: Ah, yes, we do. We’d only need 8 tubes of newspaper in total.

Jin: Excellent – let’s try it next week!


Do you think the changes will make the table work? Tell us in the discussion forum!

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English for STEM: Understanding Engineering Vocabulary

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