Chance Encounters: Probability in Games and Simulations

Students investigate probability through games involving coins, number cubes, and spinners. They represent probabilities using fractions, decimals, and percents, and compare theoretical and experimental probability. As students use numeric, verbal and visual representations of probability, they test the fairness of games involving two independent events. In the last phase, students collect data, design a simulation game for an activity of their choice and analyze the actual results compared to the theoretical results.

NCTM Standard: Data Analysis and Probability

• Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them
• Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data
• Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data
• Understand and apply basic concepts of probability

Primary Mathematical Goals

• Make and test predictions about the distribution of outcomes from spinners with unequal probabilities
• Conduct experiments to test the fairness of games involving two independent events
• Analyze and create games that are designed to simulate real-world activities
• Compare experimental and theoretical probabilities
• Use fractions, decimals, and percents to rank the likelihood of events