This week, the time came to finally pick one of my three invention ideas. The process was extremely challenging, but it taught me a lot about innovation. 

When I first sat down to think about which of my three ideas to pick, my mind immediately went blank. I could not bear the thought of parting with any of my ideas. I decided to call Dr. Ali, my mentor, and have a conversation with her.  We discussed the top three problems and the potential solutions. Dr. Ali recommended some 3M products that I could potentially use in each of my ideas. After talking about the impact of each of the ideas, we discussed this criteria to pick the top idea:

1. Is the solution for the idea creative and innovative? - I wanted to create an invention that would challenge me to be as creative as possible.
2. Is the solution one that people all over the world can implement? - I wanted my invention to be able to be used everywhere by everyone, regardless of availability of supplies.
3. Which solution will have the biggest impact? - I wanted to invent something that would assist as many people worldwide as possible.
4. Can I use 3M products in the invention?

Finally, after much discussion, we agreed on one of my ideas. I now realized the value of having a mentor to help. My initially muddled brain was now thinking clearly. Having access to a 3M scientist taught me that the first step in innovation is learning to be methodical. Now that the task of picking the top idea is completed, I am looking forward to beginning my research and experimentation!