Education Technology

How Close is Close?

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students compute statistical measures like the mean, standard deviation, and variance of the data set. They understand how measures of variability can be interpreted.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 132 - 134 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Start a stopwatch and stop it after 20 to 30 seconds have elapsed
  • Without looking at the watch, estimate and record the elapsed time
  • Compare the recorded times with the actual elapsed time
  • Determine the margin of error [no negative values]
  • Enter the error data in a stem and leaf plot
  • Find the average error
  • Determine the mean absolute deviation
  • Repeat the experiment and find the new average error
  • Understand that the new average error should be smaller than before due to experience in estimation
  • Compute the mean of the data
  • Calculate Standard Deviation and understand that it is another way of measuring the amount of variation about the mean in a data set
  • Repeat the calculation with other sets of data
  • After the Activity

    Students complete the Student Activity pages.

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