BASIC STATISTICS: An Online Treasure Hunt For Fourth
Year High School (Mathematics)
Authored by N. Patlingrao and P. Arinto
Introduction
Nine out of 10 doctors recommend Guardsafe.
Every day, about 352,755 people are born and about 154,483 people die. (US
Census Bureau, World Population Information)
An extra 15 to 35 million more teachers will be needed to achieve universal
primary education by 2015. (UNESCO, 2002 Education For All Global Monitoring
Report: Is the World on Track?)
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. There
will be an estimated 160,440 deaths from lung cancer (91,930 among men and
68,510 among women) in 2004, accounting for around 28% of all cancer deaths.
(American Cancer Society)
There is an 80% chance that in a room full of 30 people that at least two people
will share the same birthday. (David Lane, Importance of Statistics)
Information like these are examples of statistics. And they illustrate how
widespread the use of statistics is in our lives.
How do statisticians—people who collect and interpret quantitative date—arrive
at these kinds of information? What are the statistician’s tools? This is an
activity to help us answer these questions.
Working in groups of three, find the answers to the questions below by reading
the web resources listed (listed at random; not arranged according to the order
of questions). This is NOT a speed game. What is important is that you all read
the various resources given in order to have a good overview of statistical
concerns and methods.
After answering the questions, proceed to the Big Question.
Questions
 What are the methods of collecting data?
 What common mistakes do first time surveyors commit when doing a survey?
 What is a sample and how is it different from a population? Why must one
be careful when using a sample?
 What is "sample size" and “effective sample size”?
 Questions in a survey questionnaire can be openended or closeended? When
should you use each type?
 Why are tables, graphs, and charts necessary in presenting data?
 What are the measures of central tendencies?
 When measuring central tendencies, what is the middle number or value when
each item in a group is arranged from lowest or highest or viceversa?
Resources
Data Preparation, Interpretation and Analysis
http://www.websurveyor.com/learn_content.asp?c=47
Methods of Collecting Data
http://www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/~pwhite/SURVEY2/node3.html
Create a Graph
http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing/
Guide to Tabular Presentation
http://www.census.gov/prod/3/98pubs/98statab/tabpres.pdf
Central Tendency and Variability
http://www.wadsworth.com/psychology_d/special_features/ext/workshops/central3.html
Conducting a Survey
http://www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/~pwhite/SURVEY2/node1.html
Glossary of Sampling and Quantitative Research
http://www.audiencedialogue.org/glossquant.html
What Is a Survey?
http://www.amstat.org/sections/srms/brochures/designquest.pdf
The Big Question
Now that you’ve read about what statisticians do, how about acting like one. Do
a mini survey of your siblings’ (your brothers and sisters) preferred job
options (when they grow up). The population you will survey is all of the
brothers and sisters of the members of your group who are below 20 years old.
That’s not a big group so you can easily do this survey.
Ask your respondents only one question: What job/s would they prefer to have
when they grow up. You can choose to give your respondents (those you will
survey) a list of job options to choose from (closeended question) or just ask
the question and have them identify their preferred job themselves (openended
question).
Tabulate the results and compute for the mean, median, and mode.
There will be extra points for groups that can make a simple but
correct/appropriate chart or graph of their survey results!
Submit the results of your minisurvey two days from now.
