Day 135: Rock, Paper, Scissors Anyone?
Do you remember playing Rock, Paper, Scissors as a kid? As an adult? Against a computer? I’ve seen various lesson plans around RPS and probability of winning, but none seemed to fit the level and sophistication I was looking to use with my AP Stats class. Well the New York Times science section had a great article Rock Paper Scissors: You vs. the Computer. If you haven’t played the computer, its a kick and I highly recommend it!
Then I remembered reading Bob Lochel’s post Rock-Paper-Scissors and Two-Way Tables. And found his second post, Chi-Square Tests: Rock Paper Scissors. I liked the idea, but the gold came in the response sections of both posts. Doug Page shared a worksheet he has developed for using the Rock, Paper, Scissors applet and also a Google Form for having students submit results. I stole blatantly!
Since my students use the iPad, they can’t access Flash animations, so I had to assign the play as homework. I hate to do this because so many kids just don’t follow-up and complete the assignment – and we don’t get the data we could if we collected in the classroom. And the same happened with this class, but at least we had enough to continue with the introduction to Chi-Square test of Homogeneity. I think next year, they will use their own data rather than the class data…or compare their results to the class results. Will have to think more about this next year.
I required the students to calculate the components by hand – they need to know where the components come from and how they are related to the final χ² statistic. Once we finished this problem, we tackled another problem using the calculator. Because of the hand-calculating of the components earlier, they then understood what the expected values matrix meant and the components matrix.
How do you incorporate electronic experiences to develop engagement?