TRIZ Textbooks:  CID Course for Children, 3-2W1
Topic 1.  Modeling with Smart Little People
Planet of Unsolved Misteries:
Course of Creative Imagination Development (CID), 3rd Grade, 2nd Semester, Children Workbook
Natalia V. Rubina, 1998 [published in Russian]
English translation by Irina Dolina, June 17, 2001
Technical Editing by Toru Nakagawa, February 17, 2002
Published in this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" in English on Feb. 19, 2002 under the permission of the Author. 
(C) N.V.Rubina, I. Dolina, T. Nakagawa, 2002

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Topic 1.  Modeling with Smart Little People


Problem 1.  “A Disappeared Parcel”

The post office receives the parcels that have notice that their weight is 8 kilograms and their value is rather high.  Actually, their weight turned to be much less.  The customer demanded compensation for the damage.  What’s wrong?
     Let’s consider the problem about a ”disappeared parcel”.
IF             a parcel becomes rotten during transportation,
THEN     its weight decreases,
BUT        this will be noticeable at once.
     Find opposite properties:
A parcel must be heavy, to be announced valuable,
And it must be light to let its receiver demand compensation for the loss.
     Articulate an ideal solution:
The parcel is losing its weight by ITSELF.
      What resources exist for solution of this problem:
the contents of the parcel.
     Method of solving contradictions:
in time – first it is heavy, then later it is light.
(If you have already guessed the clue of this nearly detective problem, write down your solution.)

     “Once in London, Fridrih August Kekule tells about a discovery that accounted for the structure of many complicated matters of a human body and of all living creatures:  I sat in an omnibus thinking how to present a benzene molecule in a structure formula that meets the requirements of its properties.  At that moment I saw a cage with the monkeys that were catching each other: they snatched each other, then disassembled, one moment they snatched each other in such a way that made a circle.  Each of them was holding to the cage with one leg and the other one was holding its another leg with both hands, their tails were loose and waving.  So, five monkeys, holding each other, formed a circle, and an idea immediately came to my mind: this is a picture of benzene.  This formula explains the strength of a benzene ring.”
     There are many similar examples where modeling with parts of a system containing contradictions helped researchers solve difficult problems in science and technology.

     Let’s imagine that any of the objects surrounding us consists of many very small men (Smart Little People).
Chalk consists of solid small men, they hold each other by hand.
. Water consists of liquid small men, they don’t hold each other by hand but stand close to each other.

Air consists of gaseous small men, they are restless and run fast all the time.

     And what if we try to imagine the contents of the parcel consist of small men.
     First they have to be heavy and were safely placed in a parcel box.  What are they like?  Of course, they are solid.
     Then a parcel arrives at its destination.  The small men should decrease or  better disappear, then the parcel will become very light.  What kind of small men can disappear without a trace from the box?   Right, if they are gaseous.
     Thus, first – solid, then – gaseous.  The substance that from solid can turn into gaseous is dry ice (street ice-cream sellers have much dry ice in their small carts).  Of course, a swindler was exposed at the post office, very simple – it was dry ice!

     Try to solve the following problem using Smart Little People.

Problem 2.

Winter of 1942.  A military plant, having evacuated to the Uralls, is going to assemble the equipment on a new place.  A big heavy press has to be put into a deep pit.  There is no crane at hand; its transportation will take too much precious time.  What should be done?
     A contradiction:
     IFR (Ideal Final Result):
     Contradiction 2:

     Using Smart Little People, draw a picture of a system where the contradiction has emerged.
      What should the Smart Little People do to solve this Contradiction?

Problem 3.

     It is necessary to make many holes of 10 mm in diameter in a long rubber pipe.  Generally it is not too difficult to drill holes.  But rubber is supple; it stretches, shrinks, curves…  It is very difficult to make a hole of required size.  The worker tried to burn a hole with a burning rod, but the edges of the hole were burning and crumbling.
     "I can’t handle it!", cried the worker with annoyance.  "I am going to cry…"
     And at this point the Inventor appeared.
     "You don’t have to cry!", he said in surprise.  "This is very simple!"
     What did the Inventor suggest?
     A contradiction:
     IFR (Ideal Final Result):
     Contradiction 2:
     Using Smart Little People, draw a picture of a system where the contradiction has emerged.
      What should the Smart Little People do to solve this Contradiction?


Modeling with Smart Little People

     Using Smart Little People one can devise very interesting riddles:

    What is it?

Your suggestions:

     The picture has changed a little.  What can it be?

Your suggestions:

     Make up your riddles, and draw them using the Smart Little People.  Of course, you can draw your riddles with your own small men; however in Appendix 2 you will find many Smart Little People.  If you cut them out, you will be able to lay them together in your riddles like puzzles.

     We know well that all systems change in time.  The next riddle of mine is about these changes.
Finish the picture (a hint: this picture is typical for nature).
Some time later some small men changed.  Why?
What happened to the men?  Finish the picture.
Then the following thing happened to the small men.
The small men got into this picture.  Finish it.
What is the difference between the first picture and the last?

     Using the Smart Little People, draw a picture of the processes changing in time.





Modeling with Smart Little People

     Fairy Tale About a Chalk.

     Once on a school day the teacher brought into the class a new box of chalk sticks. They were even, nice and absolutely identical.
     It was a very good chalk, easy and comfortable to write on the blackboard.

What small men does the chalk consist of?
What properties of the chalk can be explained with the help of the small men?
Draw a picture or use the small men to show what happens when we write on the blackboard with the chalk.
Explain, why it is easier to write with one chalk, while another one scratches and is not easy to write with.
     Very soon only one piece of chalk was left.  It looked very common, just like other pieces of chalk.  However, the children noticed immediately that when they used this particular piece, the most complicated problems were being solved easily.  It was very convenient to use it, more convenient than using others.  But it appeared quite a common piece of chalk.  What was the secret?  As a matter of fact, the small men that lived inside this piece of chalk were very fond of studying and learning new things.  They were upset when the children wrote with mistakes or solved problems incorrectly.  And so, the small men decided to help the children in their studies.  They neither prompt them, nor wrote instead of them on the blackboard.  Something unusual and mysterious was taking place.
     Thus the children got very friendly with the Chalk, were careful with him, wrote very neatly.  But no matter how careful they were, sooner or later it would come to an end.
Try to guess the secret of the small men.  What should be done?  What can be done to prolong his existence much longer?  (don’t forget we are devising a fairy tale about a piece of chalk.)
     The small men of the chalk began to think how to handle this problem.  And that was what happened one night.  As it usually happens in a real fairy tale, exactly at midnight when the clock began to strike twelve times a miracle happened.  On the stand under the blackboard, where usually there were lots of chalk particles, a small storm began.  When it calmed down there was a new piece of Chalk on the stand.  Since that day the children didn’t doubt that their favorite Chalk was a fairy object and began to look after it more carefully.  They even started a contest with each other who would write with this chalk.
Make up rules for such a contest. 
     The Chalk liked to study with the children.  He was happy when they succeeded and upset when they failed.  He helped to draw amazing pictures on the black board of animals and plants, devised by the children.  How interesting was to devise together with the children the worlds that nobody had ever seen.  The Chalk learned how to draw riddles and puzzles and made up such difficult problems for the kids that even their mothers and fathers couldn’t find answers.
     When everybody is doing something interesting, time passes unnoticed.  The school year ended, the summer passed, and school started again.  The children went from grade to grade and the Chalk followed them.  The teachers joked: “We need to add one more student to the students’ list of this grade!”
Do you know such problems? 
     A tale is being told fast but things are being done slowly.  Much happened during school years in the class where the Chalk studied…
     The Chalk was noticing for a long time that the children with whom he had been together for so long changed very much.  They began to treat each other differently, their teachers and even the Chalk himself.  The chalk was very observant and he realized that it was time for the children to leave reliable and usual school, and like the children he became a little sad.  But there were new amazing adventures ahead of them.
     Once on Wednesday, on a day when the weather would change so often that it was not clear what the season was like outside, a sparrow flew into the classroom.  It was a very curious bird.  The sparrow made a circle around the room and flew to the blackboard.  What could attract a bird to the common piece of chalk?  Nobody could get surprised fast enough when the sparrow hooked with its sharp claws the Chalk and left the classroom right away.  Probably, he carried the chalk to its birds’ school!  The students were upset – they had hoped it would help them at the exams.  But maybe it was for the better, because together with the chalk they had come a long way, learned a lot and now could prove to themselves that they knew a lot, were able to do many things and answer nearly any questions.
     But what happened to the Chalk?  Where did the sparrow go?  We didn’t know.  The thing was that on its way home the sparrow saw a hamburger on a bench.  Right away it lost the chalk, sat on the bench, ate half of the hamburger and flew away. Why didn’t it finish the hamburger?
To solve this problem it is necessary to remember what kind of small men compose the hamburger.
     The Chalk fell down near the bench and began to look around.  He had never left the school walls and the spring wind seemed to him wonderful and exciting.  Through the green young branches the sun rays looked Everything around him seemed beautiful. The chalk closed his eyes…
     Suddenly gray frightening clouds appeared from nowhere.  The chalk didn’t realize at once what danger was threatening him.  Because the only thing that the chalk is afraid of is water.  Water is the most dangerous enemy of the chalk.  If a piece of chalk is wet, it will never be able to write beautifully and neatly on the blackboard.
Draw with the help of the small men what happens when the chalk touches the water.
     The chalk got scared.  He began to remember how he had lived in a dry and warm classroom, how the children had treated him, how happy he had been helping them master various subjects…  Never, never again he would experience such wonderful moments…
     Suddenly two boots of shoes passed the bench where the frightened Chalk was lying.  The boots stopped near the Chalk.  One pair of boots were sportive, old and worn out.  The other pair was reliable, though socks of different colors were showing.  The person wearing these boots was definitely very busy in the morning thinking about very important things.
Whom do you think these boots belong to?
     So, two people stopped near the bench in the park. They were talking with animation.
     "This is so simple, young man!", one of them was saying.  "I could have shown…. Oh, what a luck!  A piece of chalk…!”
    A professor, the last words belonged to him, took the chalk, not suspecting from what danger he just protected the Chalk, and started to draw some formulas on the park road.  A young man, probably a student, attentively was watching his teacher, though his thoughtful look was not obligatory related to the formulas that according to the professor were simple and understandable.
     "Thus, we can draw a conclusion", the professor continued, "that …"
     His further arguments the Chalk didn’t hear.  The professor finished to draw the formulas and put the chalk absent-mindedly into his pocket and, deep in thought, proceeded along the path of the park.  Together with the student they were heading to one of the institutes of Academy of Sciences and, naturally, the Chalk together with them got into an Institute laboratory where some secret research was going on.  And as we know he liked to study very much.
     Thus, absolutely by accident, a common sparrow helped our Chalk to continue his education in one of the most advanced institutes.  First, the Chalk had many difficulties, but gradually, he began to understand the formulas and definitions that he was writing on an even smooth board.  As at school the scholars soon noticed how convenient the chalk was and always tried to choose it in particular thinking that it was bringing luck.
     At first the Chalk liked it very much in the Institute laboratory. There were amazing machines and fascinating complicated devices; the scholars were arguing until late evening.  The Chalk tried to understand what riddles the researchers were solving in this laboratory.  He was very observant and once he realized that all the experiments conducted by the researchers were supposed to lead to creating a very frightening thing.  It was called “a secret weapon”.  The Chalk listened and watched.  The most important thing that he understood was that this “secret weapon” could be extremely dangerous for the children with whom he had been studying together at school, for the children that were making noise outside his school, were playing in the school yard… The Chalk decided that he would not participate in this devilish experiment!  What could an ordinary chalk do, a common school chalk?
     He began to scratch the blackboard, to crumble…  It was all that he could do.  One day his behavior led to the point when the scholars stopped arguing.  The Chalk was very pleased.  However, soon everybody got tired of an uncomfortable chalk and one of the researchers threw the Chalk into a waste basket.  “Let it be", the Chalk thought, "I won’t help them any more in these terrible experiments”. 
     On the evening of the same day the basket, where the Chalk lied, was taken outside and shaken out into a rubbish container.  During shaking the Chalk jump and flew far aside, it got on a path and was left there till morning.  He was upset and didn’t sleep all  night.
     In the morning, when the rising sun colored the roofs of the houses around, children came running to the yard.  One of the boys picked up the Chalk and right on the concrete path began to draw “squares”.  The Chalk more used to a smooth laboratory board than to the rough asphalt, shuddered with sharp pain when the boy drew his first rather uneven line.  The Chalk couldn’t understand why the lines were uneven, what “fire” and “water” meant.  The boy tried to make the lines thick and therefore pressed the Chalk hard.  A few seconds later half of the Chalk was left on the rough gray asphalt.  The Chalk that not long ago had been drawing the most complicated formulas, had known lots of interesting problems, had been able during the night collect his disassembled parts and by the morning become “new”, this Chalk was nearly dead, drawing “squares”!!!  Then the boy finished his scheme, other children came up to him and the game started.
     The Chalk was lying flat on the asphalt path.  The rules of the game were amazingly simple.  At first the Chalk couldn’t understand why everybody was fascinated by this game.  But gradually he got fascinated too, watching the kids jump on the “squares”, show interest towards other kids’ performance.  The Chalk was delighted, because he helped the children to be fast and adroit.  All was so simple: a warm, sunny day, a comfortable, kind yard and a funny game.  The Chalk felt himself again a young piece of chalk, for the first time out of a box and into the hands of a first grade student that began his trip into an amazing world full of happiness and worries.  The game was going on and the kids were delighted with the warm sunny day when they got together and peacefully and friendly played in their own comfortable yard.
     The Chalk was left on the asphalt path.  But is it possible that this tale is over at this point?  Make up your own story about how the Chalk will “collect himself together” and continue his adventure.

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