Problem Solving: The Importance of Preparation and Teamwork

2010 National Air and Space Museum Trophy
Educational Online Conference
“Problem Solving: The Importance of Preparation and Teamwork”

Education Overview

Effective “problem solving” is a required skill common to a great many professions, particularly those based in some way on science, technology, engineering, and math; the “STEM” subjects.

Regardless of exact context, “problem solving” is fundamentally-similar, whether or not it takes the form of scientific inquiry as covered in many State’s standards of learning for science, or occurs within the realm of other topics of formal (or informal!) education.
In all cases, two things in particular are critical for success in large-scale problem solving/scientific or similar endeavors: preparation (in the form of anticipation, planning, and training) and teamwork.

The engaging stories of the recipients of the 2010 National Air and Space Museum Trophy are living examples of the importance of preparation and teamwork in problem solving. Career Achievement recipient Chris Kraft was instrumental in creating NASA’s Mission Control system, an elaborate process/team designed to facilitate all aspects of problem solving for spaceflight. The crew of US Airways Flight 1549 worked together as trained, and, with the able assistance of air traffic controllers and others, kept a flight emergency from having a tragic ending. Their success in managing difficult problems, when the “chips were down,” through preparation and teamwork, are a comfort, an inspiration, and an example worthy of emulation, to us all.

We hope you enjoy our live/archived program, and that it stimulates your thinking about problem solving in all walks of life.