CDIO-CT collaborative strategy for project-driven STEM education: an illustration of solving the period of mathematical pendulum

by   Hong-Yan Zhang, et al.

The project-driven STEM education plays a significant role in training students' ability of innovation. It is a key issue that educators adopt appropriate methodology to work on the objective multi-discipline project of interest. A novel approach based on the combination of conceive-design-implement-operate (CDIO) and computational thinking (CT) is proposed for the STEM education of students in colleges and universities, in which the CDIO concerns “how to do", CT concerns “how to think", and the project means “what to do". As an illustration, the project of solving the period of mathematical pendulum (MP) is discussed in detail with the CDIO-CT collaborative strategy. The most important work of this project is to solve the complete elliptic integral of the first kind (CEI-1). In the philosophy of STEM education, all problems have more than one solutions. For computing the CEI-1, four methods are discussed with a top-down strategy, which includes the infinite series method, arithmetic-geometric mean (AGM) method, Gauss-Chebyshev method and Gauss-Legendre method. The algorithms involved can be utilized for R & D projects of interest and be reused according to the requirements encountered. The concepts and tools arising in developing the software for calculating CEI-1 are valuable for teaching computer programming. The methodology embedded in the project of exploring the expression and solution to the period of MP is enlightening, which is worth popularizing to students and instructors in colleges and universities.


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