You are on page 1of 2

EMI Problem Based Learning (PBL)

EMI Problem Based Learning (PBL)


Instructions to Students
1
2

Form a project team with 3 to 4 persons per group.


Read the problem below and answer the questions. Each group has to submit
1 report, either typewritten or neatly handwritten. Note that any research related to
the tasks assigned (either through Internet, books, etc) should be properly recorded in
your report.
3
The deadline for this report is week 15 (tutorial lesson). Late submissions
may be penalized.
4
This PBL constitutes 5% of your overall assessment.
Problem trigger:
Eddie recently found a new job as a hotel chef. On his first day of work, his supervisor
informed him at 6pm that a particular hard-to-please customer had ordered a pot of beef stew
and requested it to be delivered to his room at 7pm. The customer had also specified that the
delivered stew had to be around room temperature for his eating pleasure. Eddie knew that it
was impossible to cook the stew and let it cool to around room temperature on its own by
7pm. He was advised by his colleagues to cool the pot of stew in a sink full of ice and stirring
the stew occasionally so that its temperature will drop more quickly. He was also told that, by
o
o
doing so, the temperature of the stew will drop from 100 C to 60 C in twelve minutes.
Based on this information, your task is to help Eddie find out the time needed for the stew to
cool to room temperature so that he will not over-cool the stew and offend the customer.
Time elapsed
(min)

Temperature of stew
(

C)

Time elapsed
(min)

Temperature of stew
o

C)

100

11

63

96

12

60

92

13

58

88

14

56

84

15

53

81

16

51

78

17

49

74

18

47

71

19

45

68

20

44

10

66

EMI Problem Based Learning (PBL)

Answer the following questions:


o

Q1:

Using Microsoft Excel, plot a graph of the temperature of the stew (T/ C) against the
time that has elapsed (t/min) (refer Appendix A [1]).
(1 mark)

Q2:

There are 2 suspected mathematical models that fit the graph obtained in Q1. The 2
suspected mathematical models, where a and b are constants, are as follows:
(A)

T ae bt

(B)

T at

bt 100

You need to investigate which model is the correct model by verifying each of them
with the straight line:
(i) Express both the non-linear equations (A) and (B) into linear form, stating the
terms to be plotted on the vertical and horizontal axis (Show your workings clearly).
(ii) Construct a new table using the terms stated above to plot a suitable straight line
graph for (A) and (B) separately.
(iii) From the straight line graphs obtained in (ii) for model A and model B, verify and
state which model is the correct one. Hence, determine the values of constant a and b
for the correct model.
(1.5 marks)
Q3:

Using the model formed in Q2 (iii), determine how long should the stew be ready so
that Eddie can cool it and deliver to the customer on time (Show your workings
clearly).
(0.5 mark)

Q4:

It was stated in the question that Eddie stirred the pot occasionally. Discuss (in
relation to the mathematical equation in Q2(iii)) why we need to assume that the pot
is well-stirred. (Hint: What would happen if Eddie did not stir the stew occasionally?
Would it still cool the same way?)
(0.5 mark)

Q5:

Besides the assumption stated in Q4 above, list two other assumptions that need to be
made in order for your answer in Q3 to be valid.
(0.5 mark)

Q6:

Read about Newton's Law of Cooling and state the mathematical law. Using the
Newtons Law of Cooling formulae, relate and substitute the parameters in the
formulae with the information about the soup.
(Please cite your reference/source if any.)

(1 mark)

References
[1] Ang Keng Cheng (2009). Mathematical Modelling in the Secondary &
Junior College Classroom. Prentice Hall.