Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests


BASIC STATISTICS: An Online Treasure Hunt For Fourth Year High School (Mathematics)

Authored by N. Patlingrao and P. Arinto

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.


  1. What are the methods of collecting data?
  2. What common mistakes do first time surveyors commit when doing a survey?
  3. What is a sample and how is it different from a population? Why must one be careful when using a sample?
  4. What is "sample size" and “effective sample size”?
  5. Questions in a survey questionnaire can be open-ended or close-ended? When should you use each type?
  6. Why are tables, graphs, and charts necessary in presenting data?
  7. What are the measures of central tendencies?
  8. When measuring central tendencies, what is the middle number or value when each item in a group is arranged from lowest or highest or vice-versa?

Data Preparation, Interpretation and Analysis

Methods of Collecting Data

Create a Graph

Guide to Tabular Presentation

Central Tendency and Variability

Conducting a Survey

Glossary of Sampling and Quantitative Research

What Is a Survey?

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 (close-ended question) or just ask the question and have them identify their preferred job themselves (open-ended 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 mini-survey two days from now.