Do you remember when you were a child, and nearly every single science class started with a couple of weeks of reviewing the Scientific Method? You may not remember the specifics of the Scientific Method any more, but the chances are that if you’re thinking through something, you’re probably implementing the Scientific Method subconsciously because it’s a good routine for running through basic analysis. If you’ve developed any sort of creative habit, you may have developed your own process or routine for seeing a project through from idea to product.
As a result, you probably start any project now with some sort of question. It might be something as simple as, “I wonder what would happen if I made this meal with jasmine rice instead of white rice.” Or it could be something far more complex. What you’re probably noticing is that beyond the classroom, projects often begin with a What if?-style question.
The problem with questions is that there can be many ways to approach them, to answer them. Oh, actually…that’s not a problem. That’s exactly what you want. If you’re lucky, your question is open-ended enough to allow you to play with it, to find different ways to answer it.
Answer your question with your best guess, or with the answer you hope you’ll find is true. Your inner eight-year-old might be telling you that you’re making a hypothesis. And then do things to test that. Do your research. Make your project. And then challenge yourself to find another way, a more efficient way, a more tasty way, a more blue way. Whatever! It’s in that experimentation that you’ll find your real answer…and it’s just plain fun!