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Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Chaos in AP Statistics

Chaos+in+AP+Statistics

Guy Cardwell

Editor

It’s not typical to witness a teacher confront a raw egg head-on, but this is exactly what Benjamin Buch’s AP Statistics class witnessed last Tuesday.

“He gave no details, just said ‘brave, competitive and okay with getting messy.’ I was like yeah, sure!” said student Katherine Hayden. Mr. Buch had given few details about an upcoming illustration of probability to students, in order to add an element of surprise. 

Hayden and Buch played “egg roulette,” where they took turns smashing an egg from a carton of eight boiled and four uncooked eggs. Each turn, students could practice calculating probability. The exercise wasn’t a simple 4/12 calculation, since the total number of eggs decreased with each turn.

Buch said, “Simulations are a really confusing idea to kids, and having a high impact activity that grabs attention is a really good way to teach difficult concepts.” He had originally gotten the idea of “egg roulette” from a fellow teacher in California before incorporating it into his class.

“My philosophy is that activities that students can take part in— activities that students are actively engaged in and activities where we’re creating data ourselves instead of reading from a table— are the most memorable,” said Buch. Egg roulette is just one of many projects to come in AP Statistics. During the previous unit, students collected their own data to understand bias in surveys.

“Statistics is the most applicable math. You can spend one month in the classroom and go out into the world and do real statistics and answer real questions,” he said. “The best way to teach statistics is to get out in the real world, generate some data and then analyze it.” 

Photo by Nora Malone

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Chaos in AP Statistics