Teaching Chaos with a Pendulum to Greek Secondary School Students

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Constantine Skordoulis
Vasilis Tolias
Dimitris Stavrou
Kostas Karamanos
Aristotelis Gkiolmas


In this paper we report on how a commercial “Chaos pendulum system” was used to teach aspects of chaos theory to Greek upper secondary school students. The principal aim of this project was to investigate to what extent students can develop an understanding of the chaotic behaviour using representations in the phase space. The didactical methodology used was that of the “Physics Workshop” where students follow a discovery type laboratory course with detailed lab worksheets and are guided to the study of chaotic motion starting from observations of the oscillation of a simple physical pendulum. Interesting conclusions concerning students’ ability in using the technology associated with the microcomputer based laboratory (MBL), the development of a qualitative understanding of the chaotic behaviour using the representation in the phase space and in interpreting graphs can be drawn from the analysis of their recorded answers.


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Skordoulis, C., Tolias, V., Stavrou, D., Karamanos, K., & Gkiolmas, A. (2014). Teaching Chaos with a Pendulum to Greek Secondary School Students. Advances in Systems Science and Applications, 14(2), 158-169. Retrieved from https://ijassa.ipu.ru/index.php/ijassa/article/view/159

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