# Activities

• • • ##### Subject Area

• Math: Statistics: Probability and Random Variables

• ##### Author 6-8

50 Minutes

• ##### Device
• TI-83
• TI-83 Plus Family
• TI-84 Plus
• TI-84 Plus Silver Edition
• ##### Other Materials
This is Activity 5 from the EXPLORATIONS Book:
Graphing Calculator Activities for Enriching Middle School Mathematics

#### Activity Overview

In this activity, students study some important concepts of probability. They use coin tossing experiments to determine the probability of a tossed coin coming up heads. They examine both short and long term experimental probabilities and their relationship to the theoretical probability.

#### Before the Activity

• See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
• Print pages 41 - 49 from the attached PDF file for your class
• #### During the Activity

Distribute the pages to the class.

• Use the calculator to simulate tossing of a coin
• Note that each of the numbers generated is either 1 or 0
• Predict the result of a coin toss
• Simulate tossing a coin ten times
• Record the results and compare with the prediction
• Enter the data as a list
• Compute the ratio of the number of heads to the total number of tosses, and save the fraction (representing the experimental probability) in a list
• Set up a line plot and graph the results
• Add a horizontal line that represents the decimal fraction 0.5 (theoretical probability)
• Examine the data around this line and determine how close the fractions are to 1/2
• Understand that it is possible that the final fraction is not 0.5
• Repeat the simulation for more sets of ten coin tosses
• Realize that as larger number of trials are conducted, the experimental probability comes closer to the theoretical probability
• #### After the Activity

Students complete data sheet and answer questions.

Review student results:

• As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
• Re-teach concepts as necessary