Slide 2: Hands-On Exercise: How Creative Are You?
A steel pipe is embedded in the concrete floor of a bare room, as shown below. The inside diameter is 0.06" larger than the diameter of the ping-pong ball (1.50") that is resting at the bottom of the pipe. You are one of a group of people in the room, along with the following objects:
List as many ways as you can think of to get the ball out of the pipe without damaging the ball, the tube, or the floor.
In terms of the definition in this chapter, what is the “problem” here?
Actual situation: The ball is inside a pipe which is embedded in a concrete floor. The diameter of the pipe is almost equal to that of the ball.
Desired situation: The ball is outside the pipe and the ball, pipe and floor are undamaged. Fig 1: The actual and desired situations (drawn to scale) Slide 3: Problem: The gap or difference between the actual and desired situation, which is the distance from where the ball is resting to the top of the pipe. We are to reduce this gap.
2. What assumptions did you make about any of the objects?
Answer: We made the following assumptions:
The box of wheaties was not empty
The wire coat hanger could be cut with the file
The handle of the hammer was made of wood
3. How would you rate your creativity on this exercise on a scale
of 1=low to 10=high?
Answer: I would rate my creativity as 8, since I could not develop the solutions within five minutes.
4. How many of the eight resource objects did you manage to
employ? Which was the most useful? Why?
Answer: I used the following six resources for the four solutions:
Wire hanger was the most useful tool because it led to the most effective and efficient solution.
5. How many solutions did you develop? Which one is the “best”?
Answer: I developed the following four possible solutions:
A. Chew the wheaties to form a paste. Tear off a strip of clothestine and stick it to the ball using the paste. Allow paste to dry, then pull on the strip of clothe Slide 4: B. Chisel out wooden sticks from the handle of the hammer. Use the sticks to get the ball.
C. Empty the box of wheaties, and make a pipe by rolling one of the sides of the box. Place this pipe around the ball, and tighten its grip on the ball by further rolling. Once the grip is tight enough, pull up the ball D. Halve the wire coat hanger with a file in such a way that it can act like a pair of tweezers. Flatten the ends with the hammer (see figure below). Additionally we can grind the wheaties and pour them along one side of the pipe as we lift the ball so that it does not slip back into its original position. In case of solution A, the wheaties may not be able to hold the ball to the strip of clothe, so the solution may not be effective. It is also time consuming, and therefore not so efficient. In case of solution B, it may take a while before the ball can be retrieved, and the success will depend on hand maneuvering skills. Thus the solution is not very effective or efficient. Solution C may not be effective, since the ball may slip. Solution D is the most effective and efficient solution, because it ensures that the ball can be brought out of the pipe, and this can be done in the shortest possible time.