Asee peer logo

Introducing Chaos in Elementary School; a Precursor for Multibody Dynamics

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Resource Exchange

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

3

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37377

Download Count

12

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Joselyn Elisabeth Busato Bucknell University

visit author page

Joselyn Busato is an undergraduate student at Bucknell University, majoring in creative writing and biology.

visit author page

biography

Elif Miskioglu Bucknell University

visit author page

Dr. Elif Miskioğlu is an early-career engineering education scholar and educator. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with Genetics minor) from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University. Her early Ph.D. work focused on the development of bacterial biosensors capable of screening pesticides for specifically targeting the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. As a result, her diverse background also includes experience in infectious disease and epidemiology, providing crucial exposure to the broader context of engineering problems and their subsequent solutions. These diverse experiences and a growing passion for improving engineering education prompted Dr. Miskioğlu to change her career path and become a scholar of engineering education. As an educator, she is committed to challenging her students to uncover new perspectives and dig deeper into the context of the societal problems engineering is intended to solve. As a scholar, she seeks to not only contribute original theoretical research to the field, but work to bridge the theory-to-practice gap in engineering education by serving as an ambassador for empirically driven, and often novel, educational practices.

visit author page

biography

Kaela M. Martin Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott

visit author page

Kaela Martin is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus. She graduated from Purdue University with a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and is interested in increasing classroom engagement and student learning.

visit author page

biography

Davide Guzzetti Auburn University

visit author page

Since 2019, Dr. Davide Guzzetti is an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Auburn University. Dr. Guzzetti’s research focus is astrodynamics and space mission design in complex space environments. He obtained a PhD in astrodynamics from Purdue University in 2016, and he holds a Master degree in space engineering from Politicenico di Milano, Italy. He is also an alumnus of the Italian honor society Alta Scuola Politecnica.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

In preparation of the NASA Artemis mission to the Moon, our team has created a series of multi-body dynamics modules for undergraduates on trajectory design. Additionally, we have created a complementary outreach activity targeted at elementary students. Multi-body dynamics is closely related to the concept of chaos where the same starting position can result in a completely different outcome. For example, trajectories designed to the Moon with the same starting conditions can dramatically change based on how you are propagating the solution forward. Beyond space exploration, chaos is a useful topic to introduce to pre-college students that may not be included in their typical curriculum. Chaos can be applied to many different dynamical systems, such as weather, road traffic, and population growth. In this activity, participants observe the sensitivity of chaotic systems and compare their output utilizing common household items. The targeted audience for this activity is elementary school students, specifically in third or fourth grade. Due to the age range of participants, the project is simple to construct (although some adult assistance may be required) and takes between thirty minutes to an hour to complete. To first introduce the idea of chaos and its unpredictability, participants will attempt to balance a pencil vertically on their hand and watch as it falls to a different side every time. Next, after constructing a simple pendulum using a yardstick, yarn, and a plastic water bottle filled with colored water, they can “paint” the pathway of the pendulum’s simple harmonic motion as the water drips onto the paper below. Participants then will attach an element that adds air resistance to the system, thus creating a damped pendulum, and will map a second pathway in which the results are vastly different from that of the first run. Contrasting the two “paintings” will display how even the smallest of changes to a variable can lead to a different outcome, a piece to the puzzle of understanding chaos.

Busato, J. E., & Miskioglu, E., & Martin, K. M., & Guzzetti, D. (2021, July), Introducing Chaos in Elementary School; a Precursor for Multibody Dynamics Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37377

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015