Creative thinking – Landmines

Antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons that injure and kill civilians in every corner of the globe, every day. They don’t recognize ceasefires and claim victims long after the end of conflicts. They instil fear in communities and are a lethal barrier to development.

Find out more about the problem HERE

Take a few minutes to think about a solution to the problem of hundreds of thousands of landmines buried all over the world.  How could these buried mines be discovered?  Write down your ideas.

Now that you’ve had some time to think about solutions to the landmine problem and have written some down,  click on the link to investigate one idea to the solution.

Mad Solution?



We are now going to use a simplified version of a thinking process process called ‘Six Thinking Hats’ created by Edward De Bono:


This is Edward de Bono talking about the system, but he’s not exactly inspiring…

So let’s see if we can be inspiring…

Each ‘Thinking Hat’ is a different style of thinking. These are explained below:

  • White Hat:
    With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them.
  • This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.
  • Red Hat:
    ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.
  • Black Hat:
    Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.
  • Black Hat thinking helps to make your plans ‘tougher’ and more resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws and risks before you embark on a course of action. Black Hat thinking is one of the real benefits of this technique, as many successful people get so used to thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance. This leaves them under-prepared for difficulties.
  • Yellow Hat:
    The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.
  • Green Hat:
    The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas.
  • Blue Hat:
    The Blue Hat stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for Black Hat thinking, etc.

Creativity is an important component of successful science.  A creative thinker researches questions that others have not considered.    They propose new hypotheses and creativity is essential to the formation of useful experiments.  Researchers frequently encounter problems with experimental designs and procedures.  Successful scientists find creative solutions to these problems.

You are going to start the process in your group with Green Hat thinking, to try to come up with varied and original solutions to the landmine problem. After a while, I’ll ask you to move to Blue Hat, where you decide how you will proceed. Then you are on your own!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *