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Quantitative Skills, Thinking, and Reasoning Activities


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GEO-Logic: How Much of the State is Wet
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
students are asked to match up students with their home state, and their states with the area and percentage of area of surface water that they contain, as well as where each of the states rank nationally in terms of water area.

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)

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 ...

BotEC: The San Andreas Fault's Rate of Movement
Peter Kresan
Question: The San Andrea is an active fault zone, marked by frequent earthquake activity. The crust southwest of this strike-slip fault (including Los Angeles) is sliding to the northwest relative to the other ...

Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 3: Exploring Arctic Climate Data
Karin Kirk, Independent Educational Consultant; Anne Gold, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students dig into authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack. In particular, students learn about albedo and its relationship to snowmelt. This ...

Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 2: Do you really want to visit the Arctic?
Karin Kirk, Independent Educational Consultant
This jigsaw activity is designed for students to become familiar with several datasets of Arctic weather data, collected in Eureka on Ellesmere Island. Students join a role-playing activity to read and interpret ...