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Finally the paper entitled “Fostering students’ modelling and problem-solving skills through Operations Research, digital technologies and collaborative learning” has been published in the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology! We submitted it in November 2021, and it was accepted at the beginning of August 2022.

It is about the first part of ROAR from a teaching and educational perspective, focusing on the modeling cycle. Indeed, the first teaching unit, addressed to Grade 10 students, was about mathematical modelling, linear and integer programming.

In particular, we tried to answer the following questions:

  • Is it appropriate to include operations research in regular mathematics lectures and thus to propose complex authentic problems to students?
  • Do collaborative group work and the use of digital technologies foster students’ development of modelling competence and the problem-solving process of authentic problems?
  • In what ways do students feel that these activities are able to generate an appreciation of operations research?

This work complements the other one about the design and implementation of the teaching unit, already published on INFORMS Transactions on Education.

Now we can keep working on reporting on the activities of the second part, addressed to Grade 11, about graph theory and network problems. Or we can “brace ourselves” for the incoming third and last part, addressed to Grade 12, about implementing and solving optimization problems in Python by means of some libraries. All the materials developed so far are available on a GitHub repository.