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PBL Award Ceremony for Singapore Polytechnic

Professor David Adams travelled to Singapore Polytechnic on the 8th of May 2013 to conduct a lecture about gravity, differential equations, and satellites. The lecture included a mini-project for problem-based learning at Singapore Poly. SPMS and SP lecturers selected the best three reports among more than 70 submitted.

Here are the problems the SP students worked on:

PBL Exercise 1: Consider a “bullet rocket” fired upwards with an initial speed s0. Is it possible for the rocket to escape from the Earth if s0 is large enough, or will it always fall back to Earth? Find the escape speed s0 if possible.

PBL Exercise 2: Consider a satellite launched from a rocket in a direction tangent to the Earth’s surface at a height of 100km.

1. What should the initial speed of the satellite be for it to go into a circular orbit around the Earth?

2. What is the least initial speed it can have to remain in an orbit around the Earth, i.e. not fall back to Earth?

3. What is the greatest initial speed it can have to remain in an orbit around the Earth, i.e. not fly off into the solar system?

Remark/hint: Besides circular orbits, the other possible orbits are elliptic orbits.

Good work! Here are the winning teams!
1. Chin Guan Wei’s group: Chin Guan Wei, Huang Pengfei, Lim Wilson, Yap Jun Da (Tutor: Quek Wei Qing) - Kinokuniya vouchers worth $200.
(Click to view group report)

2. Cheng Hui’s group: Cheng Hui Min, Sherwin Jaffrey, Lu Jiale (Tutor: Jason Chui ) - Kinokuniya vouchers worth $100.
(Click to view group report)

3. Ong Yicong’s group: Ong Yicong, Chia Jing Daryl, Ng Xin Chi Joan, Lim Wei Liang (Tutor: Lee Martin) - Kinokuniya vouchers worth $50.
(Click to view group report)

The top teams won awards sponsored by Division of Mathematical Sciences.