Probability
UK Secondary (7-11)
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Results from an experiment (Investigation)
Lesson

 

Objective

Students will perform different chance experiments requiring multiple trials, and record the results.

Think

Before you begin to conduct your experiments, here are some ideas to think about or discuss with a classmate.

  • What is an experiment?

  • What makes an experiment reliable? What are some factors that would make an experiment unreliable?

Here is what you will need to conduct your experiments.
  • one six-sided die
  • a bag with at least four marbles, each a different color (if a bag of marbles in unavailable, you could create a spinner with four colors on it instead)
  • one coin
  • pencil
  • paper
  • If this activity is done in a classroom setting, chalkboard or poster to collect whole class data.

 

Activities - be sure to record your results after every trial!

Roll the die
  1. Roll the die.
  2. Record the number that comes up in a chart.
  3. Repeat this activity 6 or 12 times.
Choose a marble
  1. Pull one marble out of the bag.
  2. Record the color of the marble in a chart (separate from the one you used in the dice activity).
  3. Repeat this activity 8 times, recording the color of the marble each time.
Toss a coin
  1. Toss the coin.
  2. Record whether the coin landed "heads up" or "tails up" in a chart.
  3. Repeat this activity 10 times, recording whether the coin landed heads or tails each time.

Once you have done all of these activities, you could combine your results with some your friends have collected.  If you are in a class, then try combining all of the results from the whole class!

Here are some questions to think about after you have completed all of the experiments.

  • How do the charts from each experiment look different?
  • How many possible outcomes were there for rolling the die, tossing the coin, and choosing the marbles?
  • How are the charts similar?
  • Did you choose to represent your findings the same way, or different ways depending on the experiment?
  • If you had to present your experiments and the results to an entire class, what kind of graphs or charts do you think would best represent the data you collected for each experiment?  Would you choose a bar graph? Or maybe a pictograph? Why?

 

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