a strategy for teaching integral differential calculus for engineering students in a school in Brazil
Keywords:Can design, Project-Based Learning, Sustainable cans, Cylindrical optimization
One of the problems that concerns engineering courses in Brazil is the students low level of motivation in regarding the type of teaching and, as a consequence, low academic performance. This article encourages the introduction of active methods in Engineering teaching, emphasizing the methodologies of Project Based Learning. The approach used was proposing a project for students to analyze important aspects in the production of cylindrical cans. The students applied calculus concepts and developed a model for the optimal dimensions of the cylinder and the utilization of the plates used. Characteristics of two materials used in the manufacture of these cans (tinplate and aluminum) were also gotten. Such aspects are relevant for both environmental sustainability and production costs. Concepts of application of derivatives and Fermat's theorem were used, learned in the discipline of Differential and Integral Calculus, in order to obtain the maximum and minimum values of an established function which relates the dimensions of the can and the amount of material needed. The dimensions obtained theoretically proved to be close to the real values found in cans available on the market. After analyzing the resistance to corrosion, the cost, the decomposition time and the mechanical resistance, it was concluded that the most appropriate material for the production of cans was the tinplate. In this context, teaching with Project Based Learning methodologies may contribute to innovative teaching practices in the training of engineering professionals, overcoming the limitations of traditional teaching methods.
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