Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Background Information on Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Background information on problem solving and critical thinking will be available soon.
Purposes of Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Strategies
Information on the purposes of problem solving and critical thinking strategies will be available soon.
Advantages of Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Strategies
Information on the advantages of problem solving and critical thinking strategies will be available soon.
Specific Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Strategies
Basic 5-Step Approach
The basic 5-step approach to problem solving relates to scientific and mathematical information (REFERENCE). The steps in the strategy are described below.
- Identify important information
- Recognize how this information is translated into scientific language or a specific mathematical formula
- Study any sample problems
- Take this information and apply it to practice problems in order to understand and carry out the procedure through an experiment, with sample problems or chapter questions
- Repeat the steps, particularly 3 and 4, until the material is mastered
Word problems tend to intimidate students, but this need not be the case. With a plan of action for solving word problems, students may become more proficient at completing them.
Suggested steps for solving word problems are outlined below.
- Determine what is to be calculated. Assign it a variable if necessary
- Write down all the information given in the problem. Assign data to variables if necessary
- If appropriate, draw a picture or diagram to illustrate the information given and the unknown. Clearly label all parts of the illustration
- Write a formula to express the relationship between the known data and the unknown information. It often helps to write the formula in terms of variables at first. Then plug in the values of each known variable
- Solve the problem
- Check the answer
Sample word problems are provided below.
- The universe started as a "Big Bang" explosion. The galaxies that received the greatest velocities at that time have moved the farthest. Today we measure a galaxy to be 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km away and receding from us at 1,000,000,000,000 km per year. Assuming that the velocities of the galaxies have remained constant since the Big Bang, calculate the age of the universe (REFERENCE)
- Detroit is 300 miles from Chicago. How long does the trip from Chicago to Detroit take, at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour (REFERENCE)?
- What force is needed to accelerate an object of mass 2 kg from rest to 30 meters per second over a distance of 45 meters (REFERENCE)?
- Convertible securities are commonly transmitted by bonded carriers between major industrial complexes and financial centers. Calculate the transport delay interval if the distance between two such centers is 5,000 km and the carrier speedometer indicates a constant speed of 25 km per hour (REFERENCE)
- A nuclear reactor produces slow neutrons. How long does it take for a neutron with a speed of 60 feet per second to make the trip from the reactor to a detector 300 feet distant (REFERENCE)?
- Two volcanoes on an oceanic plate are separated by 1000 km. If the rate of plate movement is 2 cm per year, how much time passed between the formation of the two volcanoes?
- A coin is flipped ten times. What is the probability that eight heads showed when the coin was flipped?