All I Ever Needed to Know —I Learned in Elementary School

I just got this list from the science specialist at my son's school. I think it is a great list.

  • Observing—Using the senses to obtain information about objects or events
  • Classifying—Organizing objects or events according to properties, by recognizing similarities, differences, and interrelationships
  • Measuring—Comparing objects according to size, mass, volume, or temperature using a conventional or non-conventional standard
  • Recording Data—Collecting, taking notes, measuring, recording numbers, drawing pictures, which illustrate a specific event
  • Organizing and Presenting Data—Making lists, graphs, and finding averages
  • Predicting—Using current knowledge to forecast events or conditions
  • Inferring—Making a tentative conclusion based on reasoning to explain observations
  • Setting Variables—Controlling factors which will influence the outcome of an experiment
  • Decision Making—Choosing a new course of action based on current facts
  • Hypothesizing—Propose tentative explanations, based on previous observations
  • Communicating—Describing objects, situations, or events in a manner that can be understood
  • Interpreting—Summarizing and understanding new information
  • Quantifying—Applying mathematical rules or formulas to calculate quantities or determine relationships
  • Create—Construct a new process of discovery or experiment

What a great list! As a consulting engineer, I use these skills every day. Every individual thing on this list is important. If I found someone with these skills, I'd hire them. Can you imagine starting to learn these skills before age 10?

Over the last 20 years nearly everyone in business has heard lots of buzz over the Six Sigma creating success stories in business or manufacturing. I'm not necessarily a big fan of Six Sigma, but it does stress the importance of measurements. If you don't measure something, it is too easy to over- or under-estimate something and get into arguments or make wrong decisions based on not knowing.

Many adults make it through high school or college without having this important skill. If it is learned early, it is something to build on in whatever you do the rest of your life.

See you at CPP EXPO where I'll be sharing my web handling expertise at six conference sessions, along with my colleagues at Paper, Film & Foil Converter (PFFC), on September 28—30 at Chicago's McCormick Place. Review your conference options HERE, then be sure to REGISTER.

Tim Walker

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