Step 2: Analyzing the Problem

Posted: February 5, 2013 in Fun Project, T&E

In this stage of problem solving, questions should be asked and information gathered and sifted. Do not make the mistake of assuming you know what is causing the problem without an effort to fully investigate the problem you have defined. Try to view the problem from a variety of viewpoints, not just how it affects you. Think about how the issue affects others. It is essential to spend some time researching the problem. Go to the library or develop a survey to gather the necessary information.
Questions to Ask When Analyzing the Problem:

  • § What is the history of the problem? How long has it existed?
  • § How serious is the problem?
  • § What are the causes of the problem?
  • § What are the effects of the problem?
  • § What are the symptoms of the problem?
  • § What methods does the group already have for dealing with the problem?
  • § What are the limitations of those methods?
  • § How much freedom does the group have in gathering information and attempting to solve the problem?
  • § What obstacles keep the group from achieving the goal?
  • § Can the problem be divided into sub problems for definition and analysis?


  1. JM, CM says:

    On an everyday basis, the 2nd tile rule isn’t that big of a deal, but when people need to get through the halls quickly, like in an emergency, it becomes extremely important. The cause of the problem is students that don’t really care about the rule. An effect of the problem is collisions. Our method for solving the problem is making it more fun by putting gel tiles every 10th tile or so. An obstacle we face is the cost of the tiles.

  2. CK, HH, HH says:

    CK, RP, HH 🙂
    Stealing from desk has been going since we were in 3rd grade. This problem is very serious because it is teaching students a bad lesson about stealing other peoples items, and being caught doesnt get you in a lot of trouble but as you get older stealing can get you in major trouble. Effects of this problem are that kids are losing school suplies and the parents don’t want to buy new supplies because they don’t want to spend more money. The group has enough freedom to research and take surveys to gather the info we need. Obstacles that keep our group from acheving our goal is money problems. Our solution to the problem is going to be very exspensive to buy/make.

  3. GALL says:

    The history of our problem has existed for three years. The problem is serious in our school but it’s not serious to people outside of our school. The causes of our problem are people who don’t want to walk on the second tile and disobey the rules. People get detentions and get yelled at by teachers continuously as the effect. We have the idea of putting gel tiles every few tiles only on the second tiles. The limitations for this project is workers and money. We found some information on these tiles at
    Finding the people, ime and money are obstacles in this problem.

  4. CK, HH, RP :) says:

    CK, HH, RP 🙂

  5. MK, KC, and PH says:

    The problem’s seriousness varies from classroom to classroom. The causes include accidental removal from chair, such as when you scoot your chair to much, some people not liking tennis balls on the chairs and people’s unwillingness to pick them up. however, there are obstacles wihtin the group such as arguments, bossines and cost effectiveness. Our method for solving the problem of run away tennis bals is a soccoer goal that collects tennis balls with the use of velcro strips. some limitations of this idea is tennis goal placement. Some classrooms are very crowded and there is limited floor space.

  6. M A says:

    the history of the problem is ever science the teachers created single file second tile. this problem is pretty serious because it would take off alot of stress that is on the teachers for keeping their kids in order. the cause of the problem is that kids dont want to stay on the second tile . the effect is that kids will want to step on the cool art.the symtoms are teachers telling kids to stay on the second tile an another is that kids arnt on the second tile.
    hope this is good info on our project 😉

  7. TS, HW says:

    HISTORY/BEGINNING:The simple problem of trash being left on floors, began shortly after students started acting lazy at school, and has been at our school since we have been going here.
    SERIOUSNESS:The seriousness of the problem of trash being left on floors is high. Students can be given detentions because of stray trash being left on the floor, also it saves janitors time and helps them out because there will be less trash on the floors.
    CAUSE OF PROBLEM: The cause of trash being left on floors, is kids being lazy, and either missing the trash can, or simply dropping trash on the ground. Also, some kids are not aware that they are leaing trash on the floor.
    EFFECTS:The effect of trash being left on floors, for one, is that it leaves a big mess! Also, kids can get punished for leaving trash on the floor.
    METHODS OF THE SCHOOL: Right now, the school forces kids to pick up trash manually, or a punishment will be inflicted. With our invention, kids can just stomp on the pad, and it will pick up the trash with a fun, easy way.

  8. AA, TH, EC, SP says:

    o The history of this problem is that people haven’t been walking in straight lines since they came to school. Most people walk in clusters and talk to each other, and that disturbs some classrooms. This has existed since us 6th graders have been at Heritage and probably before we came here.
    o This is very serious because if classrooms get disrupted, less learning occurs.
    o The causes of this problem are people who don’t care about walking in a straight line on the second tile, or who form clusters to talk to their friends.
    o The effects of this problem are people never walking on the second tile, (in clusters instead) and classrooms being disrupted, which means less learning.
    o The symptoms of this problem are more DTs being given, mad teachers, and disobedient.
    o Our methods to solve this problem are to make the hallways more fun. For example, our idea is to make the hallways like a game of Candyland.
    o The obstacles that keep the group from achieving our goal are the amount of time and the amount of paint needed to complete what we hope to achieve.

  9. Emma, shelly, Lexi, raneen says:

    Cause of the problem: Levys have failed.
    Effect of the problem: Budget cuts giving us minimum U. A and we were forced to fire many teachers
    How serious is the problem: It’s pretty serious because we have already gone through a lot of cuts.
    The whole point of this project is to solve problems We want to solve as many problems as possible but we know that Mrs alexander can’t choose a lot of them. With project we can make more money to solve more Problems. As well as getting in door Recess games.

    We have a lot of Freedom in this project because Michelle and Emma’s mothers are both president of the PTA and can help organize the car wash.

    Some of the methods that we already have is the PTA does fundraisers like the carnival another thing strength money for the school so our carwash would be a contribution to these other methods.

  10. BM says:

    Because of the chairs, it has become hard to sit still while learning. It also makes it hard to play a sport if you do because you have sore backs/bottems. The problem has existed sense people started having to sit down longer (4th grade and up mostly). The problem isn’t that serious but if fixed it would make it easier for testing and such. The effect of the problem is that it’s became increaseingly harder to sit still for longer and more difficult lessons. For tests like the OAA and Teranovas you have to sit for more than 30 minuites at points. Kids become unrestless and sometimes the frequent breaks aren’t anough. I think our main problem is the cost of getting cushions for the chairs.

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