Subject Area Lessons

## #4105. Dice Activity - theoretical vs. experimental

Mathematics, level: Senior
Posted Thu Jan 31 13:46:14 PST 2008 by Tessa Townsend (townsetm@pickens.k12.sc.us).
Pickens High, Pickens,SC,USA
Materials Required: two dice for each group
Activity Time: 45-60 minutes
Concepts Taught: theoretical vs. experimental probability,sample sets, computing prob law of large numbers (optional)

I.) Students will work with one die first.
a. List the sample set for rolling one die.
b. Roll the die 20 times, recording the results.
c. Experimental Probability -- From the experiment, what was the probability of rolling a 1? Rolling a 2? . . . Rolling a 6? (Student answers will vary as the data varies.)
d. Theoretical probability -- have students compute the theoretical probability of rolling a 1, rolling a 2, . . . rolling a 6.
e. Compare results of theoretical vs. experimental probabilities.
II.) Students will work with two dice.
a. List the sample set for rolling two dice. (Students will take the sum of the dice.)
b. Roll the dice 20 times, recording the results.
c. Experimental Probability -- From the experiment, what was the probability of rolling a sum of 2? Rolling a sum of 3? . . . Rolling a sum of 12? (Student answers will vary as the data varies.)
d. Theoretical probability -- have students compute the theoretical probability of rolling a sum of 2, a sum of 3, . . . a sum of 12. Have students draw a histogram of the theoretical and discuss how it is normally distributed.
e. Compare the results of theoretical vs. experimental probabilities. 