In this activity, students manipulate the sections on a spinner then run simulated trials on that spinner as a way to develop concepts of probability. In addition to adjusting the number of sections on the spinner, they can adjust the size of each section. A box next to the spinner displays the theoretical probability for each color section of the spinner and records the experimental probability from the spinning trials. This activity allows students to explore the topics of experimental and theoretical probability by seeing them displayed side by side for the spinner they have created. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.


  • Mathematics > General

Education Levels:

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Informal Education,Middle School,NSDL,Upper Elementary,High School,Elementary School Programming,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-016,Elementary School,Vocational/Professional Development Education,High School Programming,Mathematics,Middle School Programming,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20120614151543487T



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Update Standards?

CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.

CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.6: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-IC.A.2: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Decide if a specified model is consistent with results from a given data-generating process, e.g., using simulation.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-IC.B.5: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Use data from a randomized experiment to compare two treatments; use simulations to decide if differences between parameters are significant.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-CP.A.1: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Describe events as subsets of a sample space (the set of outcomes) using characteristics (or categories) of the outcomes, or as unions, intersections, or complements of other events ("or," "and," "not").

CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-MD.A.1: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

(+) Define a random variable for a quantity of interest by assigning a numerical value to each event in a sample space; graph the corresponding probability distribution using the same graphical displays as for data distributions.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-MD.B.6: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

(+) Use probabilities to make fair decisions (e.g., drawing by lots, using a random number generator).

CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-MD.B.7: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

(+) Analyze decisions and strategies using probability concepts (e.g., product testing, medical testing, pulling a hockey goalie at the end of a game).
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