Education Technology

How Random!

Published on 05/07/2010

Activity Overview

Students use simulations and graphs to explore the common sense notion that repeatedly flipping a coin results in "heads up" about half of the time. First, they simulate an experiment by representing single coin flips with random numbers. Next, they use a given formula to simulate multiple coin flips at once, allowing them to perform a large number of trials easily. Lastly, they create a histogram of their data, observing that the data clusters around the mean.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the information on the first page. Distribute the Student Worksheet and attached calculator files for use during the activity.

During the Activity

Discuss the material from the activity pages with students as needed.

After the Activity

Encourage students to summarize what they have learned from completing the activity. If desired, discuss the extension with students.