Teaching in the Time of Pandemic Times: Polynomials in Pharmacy

Author: Natalija Budinski

Polynomials are very important topic in the mathematical education, but rather hard for students. Mathematically, polynomials are expressions consisting of variables and coefficients, that involve operation of addition, subtraction, multiplication and non-negative integer exponents of variables, such as x2-2x+6 or x3+12x+6. There is always a question for teachers how to highlight this important topic to students.

How to make polynomials interesting and easy to grasp? On one hand, teaching in the time of the global pandemic is quite challenging task but, on the other hand, it opened new possibilities. Teaching in the remote conditions allowed us to adapt content in more applicable way.

Polynomials are applicable in many real life situations. The importance of polynomials in the pharmacy was used to explain features of polynomials. For that purpose, the professional pharmacist, Aleksandra Vislavski from Germany prepared short video, where she explained that polynomials and mathematics, in general are important in the fields of pharmacy and medicine production. She used and example of ibuprofen which is a medicine that is used as a pain relief medicine.

The polynomial function P(t)=0,5t4+3,45t3-96,65t2+347,7t, 0≤t≤6, estimate the quantity of ibuprofen (mg) in bloodstream of the patient after certain time (t) of taking 400mg of the medicine.

After watching the video, students had personalized task where they calculated quantity of ibuprofen in the bloodstream of the patient.

The reaction of students was very good. In Skype call they said that video clearly explained importance of polynomials in the real-life. They also liked the fact that it was explained by professionals.

Activities was performed by using several online tools. The video and the task was posted in Online Google classroom, results analyzed in the Facebook group and discussed in our Skype call. We have Skype calls every Monday and Friday in order to discuss school tasks, but also to support each other in these times.