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Statistics Unit Teaches Students the Power of Data Manipulation

1 June 2012 admin 18,334 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Once again, students in Mrs. Stephanie Windes’ algebra class took part in a unit on statistics where they learned how data can be manipulated to prove whatever they want it to prove. Students examined data from different perspectives before using their newly-developed, graph-making skills to sell products that they created.

Students were instructed to work in small groups to make a water balloon catcher from random materials they brought from home.

With clever balloon catchers in hand, students headed out to Gateway Field to see which products worked. They field-tested their balloon catchers to see how well they protected a water balloon during the catch and recorded the data. Afterwards, Mrs. Windes told the students that they would be making their own commercials to sell their water balloon catchers.

To accomplish this multi-step assignment, students were introduced to the general ideas and definitions of statistics. They studied different types of graphs and how data could be presented using graphs.

“I spend a few days teaching the class how to create charts in Excel, which will be a useful tool for them in future math and science courses,” said Mrs. Windes.

Students also viewed commercials to analyze how data was presented in an attempt to sell products. Mrs. Windes asked students to consider how quickly a chart flashes during a commercial? “Did you read the fine print?” she asked. “What was the scale on the chart?”

The culmination of the statistics unit was producing commercials using the iPads that included charts and graphs to promote their product.



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