Data and Probability

California Chrome’s Lineage

Alas.  California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.  Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes. This Saturday is the final race of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing … the Belmont Stakes. No horse has won the Triple Crown since…

World Cup rankings

In December the soccer teams with the strongest world rankings were chosen to play in the once-every-4-years World Cup. The team rankings are calculated in a pretty complex manner. How are the 32 teams selected? Students can explore the ranking…

The growth of Godzilla

Image from Kris Holt: http://www.policymic.com/articles/76357/the-scary-way-godzilla-has-evolved-through-the-years-in-one-chart The new Godzilla movie is out at theaters.  His first appearance was in 1954 when he was created in Japan and crushed Tokyo.  He appears to have grown.  Do the film-makers have him growing appropriately?  Lets…

An ounce of cola

Which is more expensive; gasoline? milk? or cola?  Students calculate the per ounce cost of each of these liquids in a story about a man doing errands.  After finding the per ounce price, students find costs of gasoline, milk and…

Cost of light bulbs – updated!

Finally updated! There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the cost to consumers of CFL and LED bulbs and the savings in energy and money that could be realized. Let your students “do the math” and realize some of the…

Blue river

Because the Cubs just won the World Series, the plumbers have died the river blue. During the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers union dyes the Chicago River emerald green. Students learn what PPM (parts per million)…

Someone ate my cake!

In this fraction operation and representation activity, students are asked to decide how much of my cake was eaten. Using fraction multiplication (or angle measure if that is where you need an activity) they find out how much someone owes…

Olympic reflection

After the games Thomas Ulsrud, Norwegian curler;  Eun-Ryung Sung, South Korean single luge  Dachhiri-Sherpa, Nepalese cross-country;  Jason Brown, U.S.figure skating The 2014 Winter Olympics have concluded.  Which country had the most successful olympics?  Three students can’t agree.  Have your students…

Too early in the day for so many choices

Dunkin Donuts is promoting variety in their mixtures of hot chocolate.  Let your students try to figure out how many ways they can create their drink as they calculate the number of combinations possible in our story of stopping for…

Where have all the flowers … come from?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, is Valentine’s Day.  Start the “love hoopla” with this graphic on where all of the flowers come from.  This is part of the graphic from http://visual.ly/valentines-day-facts What fraction of these roses are shaded red?  The red ones…

Scoring Olympic ski jumping

The scoring rubric for each of the Olympic events is intended to eliminate the possibility of scoring bias from the judges.  Let your students learn more about the scoring of one event and decide whether it seems fair or not.…

The winter Olympics torch trip

Olympic torches are being carried to the deepest lake, the highest European mountain, into space, and around the host country to bring the Olympic flame to Sochi on February 7, 2014. In this activity, students can witness the Torchs’ trip…

4th down

It’s 4th down.  Should you go for it?  Punt?  Kick a field goal?  Instead of using your gut, use research, data and math to make the right call … The graph below gives the recommended option for 4th down situations for…

Moneymaking holiday movies

Which movie do you think is the highest grossing holiday movie of all time (click on the movie to see its trailer)? How the Grinch Stole Christmas,  Elf,  The Santa Clause  or  The Polar Express Students analyze holiday movie data. They…

Best Sports City

My friend from Boston created this list of cities that had won championships (in the last 10 years) in the four major national leagues. What does this list make you wonder? Which city has the best teams?  How do you…