Incubation - The Creative Sequence - futurePREP'd - Career Tech Ed/Early College - Programs & Services - OAISD Home


After students have investigated the driving question and calibrated where they are going, they will proceed through the incubation stage which consists of:

Imaging Ideas

Imagining and identifying all of the possible solutions that might address the
driving question that was given.

Often this stage of the Creative Sequence is the most difficult, especially if you are trying to develop a creative solution to something that you already know a lot about or have deep experience with. For some of us, it is easy to jump straight to the solution to the issue and say “I know what we should do . . .” Be aware of this and try and help your students fight this temptation. If they trust the process and don’t fall into the trap of deciding on a solution too early, what they come up with will be much more creative and innovative in the end.



Affinity Map

A protocol that can be used to help sort and categorize information gathered from research, observations, and/or a brainstorm session about the driving question. This technique helps ensure that each student is an active participant in making meaning of the information gathered related to the driving question.
Overview of an Affinity Map

Saturate & Group

This technique involves "saturating" a space with all of the information that students have gathered from the Investigation Stage (e.g. - photographs, data, notes, etc.) and then having students put the information into logical groups.
Overview of Saturate & Group


The numbers within this protocol refer to the amount of time students have to do each step of the process in small groups: 3 minutes to generate as many thoughts or ideas as possible related to the driving question, 12 minutes to develop a solution based upon only a couple of the words that were originally brainstormed, and 3 minutes to give their pitch to the rest of the groups of students. By having such a compressed time period, students are forced to come up with ideas and solutions fast and not to dwell on finding the "perfect" idea.
Overview of 3-12-3

The Anti-Problem

When your students are totally stuck or in a rut while in the process of exploring your driving question, have them try addressing the anti-problem - the question that is the opposite of the driving question they are exploring.  

For example, if your students are exploring how they can make a local body of water clean so that the community can enjoy it, you would have the students think about how they could make the water as awful as possible so that no one would possibly want to go near it.
Overview of The Anti-Poblem


This is a quick and fun way to get students to generate a lot of ideas related to the driving question they are exploring. This protocol works the same way as Draw the Problem only with words.
Overview of Brainwriting

Cover Story

Within this technique, students imagine that they have developed such a great solution to the driving question that it landed on the cover of a magazine. In small groups students then brainstorm information that went into the magazine such as what the cover looked like, what the big headlines were, what quotes were inside the article, etc.
Overview of a Cover Story

Draw the Problem

This is a quick and fun way to get students to generate a lot of ideas related to the driving question they are exploring. This protocol works the same way as Brainwriting only with pictures.
Overview of Draw the Problem


Based upon a collection of photos and pictures, students create new associations and possible connections related to the driving question. This is a great protocol to use if students are stuck coming up with only the "obvious" solutions or ideas.
Overview of Image-ination

Challenge Cards

This is a fun game to help students think through all of the challenges and possible solutions to those challenges related to the driving question.  
Overview of Challange Cards


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For more information, please contact one of our staff members:
David Searles
Associate Superintendent
Careerline Tech Center
Susan Tater
Careerline Tech Center
Nicole Gitler
Program Developer
Careerline Tech Center
Denise Smyk
Program Developer
Careerline Tech Center
Kari VanderVeen
Administrative Assistant
Careerline Tech Center
Melissa Bultema
Specialist/Early College
Careerline Tech Center
Caleigh Dick
Careerline Tech Center
David Ladd
Career Development Facilitator
Careerline Tech Center