If you simply guess how well can you actually do on a multiple-choice quiz? Use nonsense questions with randomly-generated answers to help students compare experimental probabilities with expected theoretical probabilities.
Before the Activity
Give the students the following scenerio: You walk into your math class and panic, because all the people in the class are speaking Gobbledygook. You cannot understand a word anyone is saying, and absolutely nothing is making sense. The teacher passes out a quiz. You can see that there are 10 problems on the quiz, and you can see that it's a multiple choice quiz. Other than that, you are completely clueless. You decide to simply guess on every problem on the quiz and hope that you will get at least a 60%.
Discuss the following:
(1) What is the probability for getting Number One correct?
(2) What is the probability for getting Number Two correct?
(3) Does getting Number One correct change the outcome for the probability of getting Number Two correct?
(4) What is the probability of getting all 10 problems correct?
(5) What is the probability of getting at least 6 problems correct?
(6) How could we test our ideas?
Using the TI-Navigator, force send the file "Gobbledygook Quiz." Have the students take the quiz, then collect the answers. (Note: the "correct" answers to the 10 questions were determined using the random number generator feature on a TI-73 calculator as the quiz was being created.)
After the Activity
After collecting the students' answers, use the powerpoint feature to discuss the results.
Possible discussion topics:
(1) Did anyone get 100%?
(2) Did anyone get 0%?
(3) How closely did our experiment match what we had predicted?