“Consider the following question that has been asked at actual Google job interviews: How much does the Empire State Building weigh?
Now, there is no correct answer to this question in any practical sense because no one knows the answer. There are too many variables, too many unknowns, and the problem is unwieldy. Google isn’t interested in the answer, though; they’re interested in the process, and how prospective employee would go about solving it. They want to see a reasoned, rational way of approaching the problem to give them insight into how an applicant’s mind works, how organized a thinker she is.”
I first read this quote one a year ago. I think what drew me to the idea was the notion of a compelling puzzle. Something elegant and simple that could provoke sustained thinking. Over the past three weeks my students have been engaged in this kind of work.
I asked them “how might you make a pig fly”.
That question snowballed into something wonderful. The question became a chance for them to apply all kinds of flight learning that they had been working through in science. It also became a chance to ask more questions. A chance to do some research. A chance to think deeply about something kinda silly.
More than anything, the question was a chance to play with an idea.
Scroll through this work. I dare you not to smile and marvel at how their minds work. I’m so so proud of them.