Question 1: How did you interpret the problem?
The problem presented was about crossing a river with three different animals: a cat, a dog, and a rat. The condition given was to cross using a raft, with only one animal to accompany me in crossing the river. There is however, a catch in crossing the river with these animals. If the dog and the cat are left with each other, the dog fights with the cat. If the cat is left with the rat, then the rat gets eaten by the cat. Because of this, the animals should cross the river in a particular order that they don’t end up fighting or eating one another. The real problem is not crossing the river, but how to properly order these animals in riding the raft with me so that they will all be able to cross the other side of the river. The problem will be solved if they will all reach the other side of the river.
Question 2: What strategy did you use and how did you evaluate your progress?
With the problem at hand, I first made a few attempts or trials on solving the problem by crossing the river with any random animal. They always end up fighting and eating each other, so I look at the situation closely. The strategy that helped me figure out the problem was drawing a picture. I was doing the trial and error method at first, but as I end up failing after every try, I got frustrated so I turned to drawing the possible outcomes with the combinations and orders that I have in mind. With the use of a pen and a few sheets of paper, I was able to establish an order which would safely cross the three animals to the other side without any of them getting harmed. By using the strategy of drawing up the problem, I figured out what I should do with the animals, which of them to go first, and which would go back with me to avoid any fights.
Question 3: Did you encounter any obstacles while solving the problem?
In solving the problem, the obstacles I encountered were more on during the process of trial and error, where I tested several orders in the animals. The main problem is that I assumed that all I have to do is to carry it towards the other side, where all that needs to be done is to drop the animals. However, the tendency of these animals is to still fight each other, thus making me fail to solve the problem. In several trials where my goal is to just put them in the other side, the rat or the cat ends up getting eaten. I then pondered on where I made a mistake, and I realized that I should also carry one animal back to the other riverbank. If I carry an animal back, then it would take a longer time to complete the task, but still, it would turn out right.
Question 4: Were you aware of this thought process as you worked through the problem?
I am aware of the thought process as I go about my work regarding problem solving. I learned that when faced with a problem that needs to be solved, it is important to focus on the problem while tackling the relevant details that accompany it. As I slowly discovered the right thing to do in order for the animals to cross the river, I learned that problem solving may be a little less difficult as compared to those who didn’t receive any other education. In order to do this, those who are seeking further response from their audience wished make their experience more interactive, as well as unattractive.