Ideas Wanted

Hello everyone.  This post is going to be quite different from my normal fiction.  I am here to ask for some help.  I am a professor and I am going to be giving a course next spring in design particularly simple engineering solutions to common everyday problems/nuisances.  I need help brainstorming ideas for possible projects.  I don’t need to have something that will change the world, (though a solution to such a problem would be awesome) but something practical.  I just read a class took a look at how they might get a better haircut.  One of the groups focused on helping get rid of the hair trimmings before they cluttered the floor since the hair stylists hated cleaning it up.  If anyone knows of anything and can leave it in the comments below, I would be extremely grateful.  I want to train my students to look for the simple solution that is inexpensive, but does the job.  That type of thinking used to be a hallmark of society, but I think we are becoming blind to it since the great internet or Apple, or Google, or some other huge place will come up with the next solution.  I want my students to know they can work out solutions themselves, see them work, and empower them to tackle even larger problems with the confidence earned from completing the task.  Thank you for your help and I promise to begin posting more fiction very soon.

13 thoughts on “Ideas Wanted

  1. I love your passion for this class. I agree with you that this is an important skill of humanity that used to be valued. It used to be a hallmark of society and the younger generations do not even know that.

    The internet generations have become somewhat Google Dependent for solutions, but you and I know of course, that any solution on google is only there because a human used ingenuity to create it.

    I will try to brainstorm about this with my daughters. I have always tried to instill a value for ingenuity in my daughters.

    My father passed down to me an admiration for engineering simple solutions to problems. He was always very good at coming up with these kinds of solutions and designs.

    Annie ❤

  2. You mentioned what one of the groups did for the haircut project. Are you looking for one big idea that can be broken into smaller problems that can be solved individually?

    • Either. One of the other suggestions I received was to create a filter for washing machines to capture microplastics that shed from people’s clothes. It is starting to become an ecological problem.

  3. One idea comes to me that is a current problem I have. ..Carrying a laptop in and out of the house, in the car, in other people’s cars and into places like offices and other people’s houses….while making sure it is protected.

    Sometimes I have to put it in my back seat. Other times in the empty trunk. Other times with groceries in the trunk.

    When I had babies, aI used a car seat that detached from a base which stayed in my car, but could also be moved to another car if needed.

    The detachable carrier could be attached to a grocery cart. It had a handle to carry it freely. And it sat on any floor and most surfaces in a safe manner.

    So it functioned as a car seat, a carrier to transport from the car, a shopping seat, a bed / chair. I have even seen newer versions that also attach to a stroller.

    I would love to have something in my car ( back seat and / or trunk ) that the laptop carrier could be clicked into to keep it stable when I drive. Then the carrier could be used as a stable laptop holder on someone’s kitchen table if I am using the laptop for giving a guitar lesson or a presentation of some kind.

  4. Maybe the laptop base holder in the car could even function as a charger.

  5. about the cut hair, a hairstylist that I used to go to with a salon in her home had a hole cut out of the floor, so she just swept the hair into the hole each time. In the basement, under the hole, she had a large bin to collect the hair.

  6. another idea I had in my gardening business is to put a large rock over bulbs when I plant them in the fall to keep squirrels from digging them up. In the spring or after the ground freezes, simply remove the rock. You can even get fancy and label the rocks

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