Essential Questions 3.0

Anticipatory Set

In the late 1960’s a scientist at 3M was working on a new adhesive. He developed an adhesive that formed itself into tiny spheres with a diameter of a paper fiber. The spheres would not dissolve, could not be melted and were very sticky individually. Because the particles were round the adhesive didn’t stick well. Many people felt the adhesive had great possibilities but there wasn’t a use for it.

It took ten years for a use to be found, a scientist tired of his book mark slipping all the time and put a small coating on a piece of scrap paper to hold it in place. He found he could remove the bookmark and use it over again. He put together a team to study the possible uses for the new product. 3M almost killed the post-it note because who would buy scrap paper when they could get it for free? Undeterred the team did research and finally sold the company on the concept. The next year (1981) the Post-It note was named 3M’s outstanding new product.


  1. Why should people use the design process when they already know how they want to solve a problem?

  1. Why is it important to include a wide variety of people on a team charged with making decisions?