Samarth - Eureka! Eureka!
Process of making an observation
We all know about the Scientific Method. Today, I will talk about my specific experiences with problem-solving, shortlisting, attempting to find viable solutions, and sometimes succeeding. Observation is key to our everyday social life. Observation raised to the rank of a scientific method is one that should be carried out systematically, purposefully, and on scientific grounds—even if curiosity and fascination may still be its very important components. (1)
My observation process starts with simple listening, seeing, thinking, reflecting, and processing what I see, hear and feel. My scientific pursuits, science projects at school, and my science fair projects always start with “simple, unobtrusive data collection” (2) around things I grasp within my social environment – a simple method whereby my brain collects, stores, and processes data.
Picking a problem –
Like everyone else, I tend to stick to at least a few of the many problems I may have observed within a timespan. They may stick because of the importance of the problem in my life or surroundings or maybe because, with some analysis, I can make an impact. Some examples include – creating an alert when the chair is tilted, which was inspired when my little brother titled his chair and fell backward, creating a fitness app to count push-ups, pull-ups, etc. to ensure that my siblings didn’t get away with fabricating numbers during friendly family exercise competitions.
Why you chose the problem you did?
During one of my vacations, I observed that my grand aunt and my grandma’s struggles very closely. My great-aunt, who used to love cooking and living an active life, had given up cooking due to glaucoma-induced blindness. My grandma is struggling with the same issue now. This problem remained with me even after my vacation. My family would talk about different ways to make their life easier - hire a caregiver, stick to microwavable meals, etc.
More Thinking, research, and impactful observation
I also researched ways to help them. The more I researched and the more I brainstormed this with my family, I realized that this is not an issue limited to my home environment. It is estimated that there are 2.2 billion visually impaired people in the world. (3)
Where did you find inspiration for your solution – My Eureka Moment
My most impactful observations came from watching cooking videos by people who were visually impaired. My eureka moment came while watching Christine Ha’s video. She is a blind chef and the winner of the 2012 MasterChef competition. I was totally blown away. I read that “As a contestant on MasterChef, Ha was not permitted to use any special equipment, but an assistant was hired for her who was allowed to describe the appearance of dishes in progress and fetch tools.”(4) I knew that I had to do something! I further observed that this would also help a large section of people who wouldn’t otherwise want to try to cook new cuisines without guidance.
Thank you for reading my blog!
Blog & Video Citations
1. “Observation Methods- Malgorzata Ciesielska, Katarzyna W. Boström, Magnus Öhlander ((PDF) Observation Methods (researchgate.net)
2. Conducting Observational Research Associate Prof. Melanie Bryan PowerPoint Presentation (deakin.edu.au)
Arlindi1999, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Uddin, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons