How Faithful is Old Faithful? Statistical Thinking: A Story of Variation and Prediction
J. Michael Shaughnessy, Maxine Pfannkuch 2002 Mathematics Teacher v95 n4 p252-259
The authors of this article are exploring the question of what is "statistical thinking" and how do teachers instill this type of thinking in their students. They have found it helpful to use real data sets from real phenomena such as the wait times between eruptions of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The article explores the context of the data and details a classroom activity based on exploring this data (a data set is included in the appendix to the paper). The authors stress the importance of an understanding of variability in addition to measures of center (such as the mean) and point this out by looking at the variability in the Old Faithful data set.