A question that doesn't have a clear answer that needs further investigating is called a statistical question. To answer a statistical question, we first collect the necessary data. Then we can use the data to understand trends and make predictions, which we can use to provide an approximate answer to the question.
For example, this question is not a statistical question as there is only one obvious answer.
How many siblings do I have?
The question below is an example of a statistical question because there's no obvious answer.
How many siblings does a typical person have?
We would need to collect information about the siblings of several people, and use this to approximate the answer.
- Decide whether or not each of the following is an example of a statistical question or not:
- How many days are in December?
- On average, how long do cats live?
- Do you like birds?
- How many lockers are on this wall?
- What proportion of the students at your school wore a coat today?
- What was the temperature at 6:00 AM in your hometown?
- What is the average high temperature in your hometown for the month of May?
- How far can you jump?
- On average, how far can the students in your class jump?
- Are skateboards popular among middle school students?
- Work with a partner to write 5 statistical questions. Choose one question to collect information on.
- Set up your method of collecting data and initiate the plan.
- Analyse the data you collected. Decide how the information gathered will be grouped, organise the data, and count the data in each group.
- Present the data. Create a line plot, bar graph, pictograph, etc. to represent your findings.
- Interpret the results. Write 3 statements that can be concluded from the information that you gathered on your topic.
Allow students to present their findings and presentations to the class.
FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS
- Did anyone choose a statistical question that was hard to gather data for?
- How can companies benefit from using statistical questions to gather information?
- Besides businesses, who else may benefit from using statistical questions to gather information?