Friday, January 11, 2013

Probability Lab Using Coins

There's all sorts of situations you might want to introduce the concept of probability. Maybe it comes up when talking about how "some people are ALWAYS late" and you are able to work the idea of calculating probability! (or is that just me?) Maybe as a way to introduce genetics, before getting students into the exciting world of chromosomes and Punnet Squares. Or maybe in a physical science or technology context while discussing machines. Or maybe you just want to have some fun with friends on a Friday night! (he-he)

Free Coin Probability Lab: STEMMom.org

Using coins to teach probability is by no means unique, and I've not really done anything that's worthy of mention, just that I've added well organized data tables that includes space for a lot of practice calculating probability percentages. I also provide opportunities for students to apply the concept of expected outcome.  They compare their data to what is expected, pool their data with others, and see  whether the data get closer to the expected.  

This free download includes: A four-page student handout that has 6 prelab questions, procedures for both a 1-coin toss, and a 2-coin toss, data tables to record all the coin tosses, and 6 post-lab questions. And last, the download also includes a teacher answer key.

Click HERE to obtain the free Google Doc. I hope you enjoy this lab! I would love your feedback on how it goes with your students!

I'd also like to open an invitation for you to post your results here in a comment! That way we can see what happens when the number of tosses increases. Will you help add data so we all can benefit?

I linked up at:
Freebie Fridays

4 comments:

  1. I wish I saw this last night. I spent the evening working on probability worksheets and activities of my own.

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  2. I hopefully will have some data for you soon. We worked on this lab a bit last week, and have a few teams finishing up. I'm using it as a precursor for the Punnett Square. I think it helps set the stage for the "who cares" part of this unit.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, so glad to hear that you used the lab, and you'll be adding data! I used the probability lab before doing Punnett Squares too! We started mono-hybrid crosses today! Oh, I love genetics! (I also did Rebop Meiosis before starting Punnet Squares...I'll be blogging about that soon too!)

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  3. I used this lab today. I have a couple of suggestions. The grey on the data tables does not copy well. It copies so dark that the students can't read what they write in there.

    Thanks for the lab. I enjoyed it. We should be finishing it tomorrow. I will post data then.

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