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Topic: Summer '96 Institute: Shared Lessons and Activities
Replies: 10   Last Post: Jul 19, 1996 1:30 PM

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Eileen Schoaff

Posts: 39
Registered: 12/3/04
probability experiments
Posted: Jul 19, 1996 1:30 PM
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I have used the cereal box problem many times over the years with my
pre-service teachers. I never could explain adequately why the theoretical
probability was around 14. It was never intuitive for them and they always
estimated around 60. To show how long I have used it, my problem had stickers
with the words MAY, THE, FORCE, BE WITH, YOU. My students have made me update
the problem because they either laughed at me or reminded me that this was well
before their time. (How did I get this old?)

The poke the hole problem I have had students do with a computer simulation.
This is really the Monte Carlo method. I use it to find the area under a curve
with non-calculus students (geometric probability). I make it more interesting
by saying they are about to jump out of a plane. The beach is curved and the
edge follows the function F(x) = sqrt(2) (or something like that). The waters
are shark infested. Should you increase your insurance?

Eileen Schoaff
Buffalo State College







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