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Quantitative Skills, Thinking, and Reasoning Activities


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GEO-Logic: Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
Students are asked to match up lecturers with what day and time they teach, and how many students they have based on clues given from several different perspectives. In the second part of the activity, students are asked to learn more about the historic figures mentioned in the activity by doing reading and web research.

GEOLogic: Volcanologists
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
students are asked to resolve how many days each of 5 volcanologists spent at a volcano and what day they started for the volcano. There is also a second part where students are asked to do some additional research about volcanoes on the web.

Introduction to Texas Hurricanes
Oney Fitzpatrick, Jim Jordan, and Jim Westgate - Lamar University, Beaumont, TX
Students graph data from 20th century hurricanes that affected the state of Texas. Along the way they answer questions that ask them to interpret what they see represented on the graphs.

Independent Samples t-Test: Chips Ahoy® vs. Supermarket Brand
Dexter Whittinghill, Rowan University
In this hands-on activity, students count the number of chips in cookies in order to carry out an independent samples t-test to compare Chips Ahoy® cookies and a supermarket brand. It can involve discussion of randomness and independence of samples, comparing two parameters with null and alternative hypotheses, and the practical issues of counting chips in a cookie.

Reasoning About Center and Spread: How do Students Spend Their Time?
Shirley Alt
This activity helps students develop better understanding and stronger reasoning skills about distributions in terms of center and spread. Key words: center, spread, distribution

Using Your Hair to Understand Descriptive Statistics
Christopher Malone, Winona State University
The purpose of this activity is to enhance students’ understanding of various descriptive measures in statistics. In particular, students will gain a visual understanding of means, medians, quartiles, and boxplots without doing any computations by completing this activity.

An In-Class Experiment to Estimate Binomial Probabilities
Jessica Utts, University of Califronia, Davis
This hands-on activity asks students to conduct a binomial experiment and calculate a confidence interval for the true probabiity. It is useful for involving students, and for having a discussion about the interpretation of confidence intervals and the role of sample size in estimation.

Seeing and Describing the Predictable Pattern: The Central Limit Theorem
Shirley Alt
This activity helps students develop a better understanding and stronger reasoning skills about the Central Limit Theorem and normal distributions. Key words: Sample, Normal Distribution, Model, Distribution, Variability, Central Limit Theorem (CLT)

Lab 1: Where's the Water?
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives × Photo courtesy of ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Energy Released in an Earthquake
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question A magnitude 8.5 earthquake (such as the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska) releases about 1x1018 joules of energy. The atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima released about 1.5x1013 joules of energy. How ...