Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Gummy Bears Illustrate Stats Lesson
Find the common variable: Gummy bears, Statistics class, Algebra 1 books, and catapults.
Ms. Danielle Martin’s AP Statistics class recently studied experimental design. Students had the opportunity to get a hands-on experience in the classroom through a gummy bear launch activity. “We launched gummy bears off of Algebra 1 books with a catapult made of two popsicle sticks and a pencil to measure the distance of the bears,” explained senior Melanie Smith.
The experiment was used to illustrate factorial design, which allows students to see the effects of two factors in one experiment and study the reaction between them. The factors in this experiment were the height of the ramp and the position of the catapult on the ramp. Students used the same launcher throughout the experiment to eliminate lurking variables.
“When we put the gummy bear further up and at the back of the ramp, it had optimal distance,” said senior Kaylee Lamb.
Ms. Martin explained, “Doing this lab enabled the students to see how what we are learning in the classroom relates to real life situations. Students seemed to enjoy this activity because it gave them a unique and interesting way to learn.”
Senior Amanda Muntz said, “I liked this experiment because it was a hands-on, nontraditional way to learn the material. I think the activity helped me better understand the lesson.”
Written by: CHS seniors Amanda Sisti, Melanie Smith, Kaylee Lamb, Amanda Muntz, and Daniela Dangond
Posted: Nov 04, 2013 by Paula White