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Overview Ratio and Proportion Graphing Linear Equations Inequalities Using Data to Make Decisions Reference Materials Teacher Materials Online Resources Watch Online
Using Data to Make Decisions

Chapter Synopsis


We are inundated with information — about our health, our leisure activities, sports and so much more. Information is just information. It is our responsibility to process that information and to use it wisely. That is one of the reasons we study data analysis. We need to not only evaluate this information, but also to base personal decisions on evidence (data). We also need to see the dangers of acting on decisions that are not supported by the evidence. The question then becomes, “How do we get that evidence?” Of course, the answer is by analyzing the data that we are using to make those decisions. This module shows us how race car drivers use data to help them win races.

Lesson one has students look at data about five types of cars (sedans, SUVs, sports cars, vans and hybrids) and construct graphs displaying the data. They then write about what their graph tells them and if they show any association between the categories they selected

The second lesson lets students be part of a road rally. They set a Hot Wheels car at different locations on a ramp and measure the distance that it travels. They then graph their results. Using their data, they enter the car rally. The winner is the car that gets closest to the edge of the table without going over the edge. (This distance is determined by graphing the data they gathered. For enrichment, students can either interpolate or extrapolate the correct distance.).

Summative and formative assessments are included, in addition to a resource page on making and understanding scatter plots and a vocabulary page.


Standards Addressed

Grade 8, Mathematics — Data Analysis and Probability

08-10 Benchmark
A. Create, interpret and use graphical displays and statistical measures to describe data; e.g., box-and-whisker plots, histograms, scatterplots, measures of center and variability.

Y2003.CMA.S05.G08-10.BA.L08.I01 / Data Collection

01. Use, create and interpret scatterplots and other types of graphs as appropriate. Copyright©2009, Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. All rights reserved.
Scatter Plots (PDF file) Formative Assessment (PDF file) Formative Assessment — Answers (PDF file) Types of Cars (PDF file) Sample Graphs (PDF file) Road Rally (PDF file) Summative Assessment (PDF file) Summative Assessment — Answers (PDF file) Chapter Synopsis Graphing Data Road Rally Graphing Graphing Vocabulary