Joshua Horn, Graduate Student in the University of Rochester’s Biochemistry and Biophysics Program, visited Kathy Magin’s 2nd block AP Stats class. He delivered an interesting presentation on his laboratory work with protein poly-peptides. Mrs. Magin and Mr. Horn collaborated previous to his visit. This allowed him to customize his presentation so as to address areas of Statistics the students were familiar with. These topics included:
- What are the characteristics of a “good” sample?
- How large a sample is required?
- How many simulations of an experiment are necessary?
- When population values are not know, how do confidence intervals play a part in drawing conclusions?
The students found Mr. Horn’s presentation interesting and it allowed them to appreciate the real-life application of all their hard work in Statistics.
Mrs. Magin appreciates all of the work that Mr. Horn put into customizing his presentation and that he graciously agreed to present his work to Mrs. Magin’s 4th block Stats class later in the school year.
Mrs. Magin’s AP Statistics students played a variation of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” on Wednesday, November 23. This activity led them to create and identify a complete sample space of possible outcomes and clarify the concept of randomness. They also calculated probabilities and found the sum of the probabilities. This reinforced the fact that all the probabilities of a sample space for an event totals to the number one.
The students played 30 rounds of the variation of Rock, Paper Scissors in this way: Students were in groups of 3.
Player A received a point if all the same results were shown.
Player B received a point if all different results were shown.
Player C received a point if 2 of the same results were shown.
At the end of 30 rounds, total the points, declare a winner.
In all of the groups, Player C won the game of 30 rounds. Once the students examined the sample space and calculated the probability that each player (A,B or C) would win a given round, it was clear to see the unfairness of the game. Player B had twice the odds of winning as Player A, and Player C had six times the odds of winning than player A. This should help these students if they ever travel to Turning Stone to play games of chance – calculate your odds first!
On Wednesday, November 2nd, Rochester Red Wings Statistician Chuck Hinkel came into Mrs. Magin’s AP Stats class to discuss how math is used in his career. Although Mr. Hinkel’s official title with the Red Wings is Public Relations Director, he uses statistics everyday. He explained to the 30+ students that many sports, such as baseball are statistics driven. Many athletics careers rely on the important work that Mr. Hinkel and his team do. He also said that statistics tells an important story and it is his job to use stats to lead fans through the story of a season. Mr. Hinkel, who also does work with CBS, the NFL, and RIT hockey, explained to the students the importance of picking a career that you really like doing. He said that sometimes you have to pay your dues when you first start out (referencing that he was the Red Wings mascot at an earlier time with the organization), but if you work hard and focus on your goals, it will be worth it in the end.
One of the fastest growing courses at Athena High School is AP Statistics. Students have elected to take this course because of its rigor, relevance to the real world, and its engaging teacher, Mrs. Magin. Over the past three years, Mrs. Magin has promoted the course and recruited students to enrich their learning about the world of statistics. Students have expressed how the course is both challenging and fun. In collaboration with Mrs. Magin, students from the Class of 2011 created a promotional video to show others what the class is about. This video is very well done, informative, funny, and will certainly be a tool used this winter when students are choosing their courses for next year.
Practical Strategy: Promote and educate students about the many electives at Athena. The use of an elective fair, videos, or classroom visits help to create a buzz for students to sign up for a class. Many times students don’t sign up for a particular course because they don’t know about it.