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Oh, the pain of doing the daunting duty of decision making when you are in love with every problem that presents an opportunity to innovate! Which of the eight problems that I had identified through careful observations must I shortlist? I spent endless hours pondering this question as I tried to compile the list of my top three invention topics. Since all eight of my first list of problems captured my interest equally, picking three of them was an incredibly challenging and engrossing task.

A week ago, I finalized my list of eight initial invention topics. I have always kept myself informed and have been observant about the happenings in the world. Since my participation in the Young Scientist Challenge, I found myself even more vigilantly observing the problems that affected my friends and family. This seemed like the best place to find ideas for inventions. I wanted to enjoy the thrill of inventing something and also feel the pride of helping others. Kill two birds with one stone! Soon, I came up with a list of eight of the most significant issues in the world that I could think of. Now came the hard part.

I now had to narrow down my eight innovation topics to three. Three! I was very reluctant to remove five of the invention topics, but I knew that it would teach me to critique my own work. At this point, I found it necessary to define the criteria for selecting my three best innovation topics.

First, how widespread is the problem? I decided to invent something that would have the maximum impact on as many people as possible. Second, which topic will provide the most opportunity to learn the process of innovation? I gave weightage to topics that would teach me the most about the process of innovating and inventing. Finally, can I develop a solution within the timeframe? I considered problems that would be the most practical to solve with science by end of September.

Keeping the criteria in mind, I began the process of  trimming my original list of eight. When the list was down to five, I researched the possible solutions. My research helped me to successfully bring down my list to the last three. This process certainly was difficult, but it was worth it. I now know why scientists always love to solve problems. The more you think about problems in the world, the more you are motivated to solve them. That's certainly how I felt!

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