Education Technology

Plinko - Frequency Plots and Experimental Probability

Published on 08/08/2007

Activity Overview

In this activity, students simulate the Plinko game from the TV show "The Price Is Right", then use Navigator to share their results for the class. A frequency plot of class results is constructed, and conjectures made as to the experimental probability of winning the big money in this game. The mean value of winnings can also be computed.

Before the Activity

Discuss the Plinko game, and brainstorm both the optimal strategy for winning the game, and the approximate probabilties. Use the enclosed file to simulate the game with the class, before allowing them to complete an individual exploration. Directions for using the board and collecting the data are given in file 3A.

During the Activity

Navigator is used to collect class data, and create a frequency plot. Lists can then be sent back to the class in order to compute the mean value. Activity Center settings for allowing students to contribute their data are given in file 3B.

After the Activity

Review student answers:

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