The symbol linked explicit unpacking (SLEU) method for solving STEM problems

Adassa Phillips 1, Muizz Hassanali 1, James A. Wingrave 1 *
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1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19716, USA
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp. 156-168.
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Solving STEM problems requires that data (numbers and units) from a word problem be substituted into a mathematical equation(s) for solution. However, solving STEM problems is an implicit process that provides little or no guidance for the problem solving process. In this study symbols linking the data to the mathematical equation(s) are used to develop an explicit unpacking method for solving STEM problems. This problem solving procedure is termed the SLEU (Symbol Linked Explicit Unpacking) method. The SLEU method provides an explicit stepwise framework to guide students in the solution of STEM problems from the word-problem format of most STEM problems to the mathematical set up and ultimate solution of the problem. Simultaneously, the SLEU method requires students to understand the physicochemical significance of the data in the word problem as it is used in the mathematical equation. The SLEU problem steps can be easily uploaded into software programs for distribution to students for individual, self-guided study.


Phillips, A., Hassanali, M., & Wingrave, J. A. (2019). The symbol linked explicit unpacking (SLEU) method for solving STEM problems. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 7(4), 156-168.


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