After narrowing down what current issues I wanted my invention to deal with, I was then faced with the question of how to solve them. For me, this was the fun part of my brainstorming process because I got to use creativity and imagination, and think beyond the boundaries of what has already been created and what is commonplace. In order to develop solutions to the problems I had selected, I tried to think about exactly why the issues had occurred in the first place, and what innovations could eliminate those issues. I also thought about how I could fit the solution into the average person's everyday life. When taking these things into consideration, I was able to develop stronger, more plausible solutions.
When I first began to explore solutions to the issues I had chosen, I did have some trouble getting the flow of ideas started. But after I had a few small concepts to work with, one idea sparked another and I began coming up with some solid solutions. This experience reinforced the fact that the hardest part of anything is getting started, but if you persist you will eventually succeed at whatever you are doing. In my case, all I was trying to accomplish was coming up with ideas, but the same principle applied nevertheless.
After I came up with multiple ideas pertaining to all of the world issues that I had identified, it came time for me to select one. Since I had already put so much thought into all of my ideas and the pros and cons of each, deciding on one wasn't too difficult. The final idea that I chose is a combination of a few of my ideas, and the reason for this was that the issues that I selected to deal with are all closely related and could all be positively impacted through one innovation. Finally settling on one concept was satisfying for me, because I no longer have to worry about how I am going to proceed with this project. Now, I finally have a fairly clear picture of the direction that I am moving in, and I feel that now I can start to actually accomplish something. Even though all I have done so far is brainstorm, I do feel that I have made a significant amount of progress and that I have already learned something about problem solving. I am very thankful to my mentor, who is an actual 3M scientist, because she has given me perspective on how to go about deciding upon ideas, and she has given me insight as to how an experienced scientist would go about finding a solution to a problem. Now the new challenge that I have ahead of me is finalizing the details of my solution, and beginning to plan the design of my innovation. While I know that I am bound to encounter some struggles along the way, I am very excited to truly dive into this project and to see where it will take me!