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Mathematics
Grade: Middle
Subject: Mathematics

#736. Snowfall Statistics for Snowboarding

Mathematics, level: Middle
Posted Mon Dec 7 18:01:49 PST 1998 by Sue (Weiss) Green (greens@cedar-falls.k12.ia.us).
Holmes Jr.High , Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA
Materials Required: Access to the Internet, Graph Paper, Ruler
Activity Time: One Week
Concepts Taught: Statistics: Graphs & Plots

INTRODUCTION

My project topic is "Snowfall Statistics for Snowboarding." The study of statistics can be both boring and difficult for many math students. By having the students use the internet to collect the current daily snowfall amounts and also to find the price of a lift ticket for snowboarding at different ski resorts in the United States, the students will take a personal interest in the statistics that we are working with. This interest will create a desire to learn, with the result being that the students will be much more successful in mastering a difficult math topic.


THE TASKS

#1 Your Dad is planning to take you snowboarding next month. He usually takes you to Sundown or the Afton Alps. This year however, there is a chance that you'll be able to accompany him on his business trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While he is at his meetings, you could be snowboarding at Snow King.

Your task is to find the best place to go snowboarding.
Track using triple line graphs and bar graphs the daily
amount of snow fall at the three ski resorts for twelve days.


#2 Also, a friend has asked you to go with him on his family vacation to Colorado over Spring Break. The family hasn't decided yet which ski resort they will be going to.

Your task is to find out how much money you will need to take along for lift tickets.
Find and organize using both a line plot and a stem-and-leaf plot the cost of a lift ticket for you at all the ski resorts in Colorado.

THE PROCESS

1) Ten minutes of the video Snowriders by Warren Miller will be shown to introduce the students to snowboarding.

2) The members of the class will be paired up.

3) Each pair will select which morning they will come to class 15 minutes early to collect the statistics off the internet for the tasks.

4) Using the graphic organizer, the students will record their data for the amount of snowfall the last 24 hours at these three ski resorts:

Sundown (Dubuque, Iowa)
URL: http://skicentral.com/rpt-iowa.html
ski reports - Iowa
Afton Alps (St. Paul, Minnesota)
URL: http://skicentral.com/rpt-minnesota.html
ski reports - Minnesota

Snow King (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)
URL: http://skicentral.com/rpt-wyoming.html
ski reports - Wyoming

5) The students will go look up the prices of lift tickets for someone their age at the different Colorado Ski resorts.

Colorado Ski Roundup
URL: www.skicolorado.org/resorts1.html
lift ticket prices

6) The snowfall from each group for the twelve days will be tabulated.

7) After a demonstration on how to make multiple line graphs, the students will make a triple line graph for the amount of new snowfall at the three ski resorts.

8) After a demonstration on how to make multiple bar graphs, the students will make a triple bar graph for the amount of new snowfall at the three ski resorts.

9) After a demonstration and practice on how to make a line plot, the students will make a line plot for the price of a lift ticket at all the ski resorts in Colorado.

10) After a demonstration and practice on how to make a stem-and-leaf plot, the sudents will make a stem-and-leaf plot for the price of a lift ticket at all the ski resorts in Colorado.

11) After a demonstration, the students would use reciprocal teaching to interpret the data. This would include:
a) locating individual data on the graphs and plots
b) finding the minimum, maximum and median values for the data sets
c) describing how the amount of snowfall varies over twelve days and how it varies between the three ski resorts
d) describing how the price of a ski lift varies according to the site

12) The students will write in their math notebooks the answers to the following:
a) describe how the amount of snowfall varies over
twelve days for each ski resort
b) describe how the amount of snowfall varies between the three ski resorts
c) describe how the price of a pass varies depending on the site

13) Throughout this unit, the students will be asking questions of Bryson Witt, an instructor at Chestnut Mountain Ski School through e-mail.

14) Also throughout this unit, the students will be corresponding through e-mail with a 7th grade math class at Jackson Hole, Wyoming on what it is like to live in one of the best places in the United States to snowboard.


ASSESSMENT
This 100 point assessment will consist of two parts. The first,worth 80 points, will be the graphs and plots of the statistics we have gathered. The second part, worth 20 points, will be the written answers to Task #1 and Task #2. These answers will be written in class under a "test-like" situation.


Triple line Graph (20 points)
Title, Axis Labeled (5 points)
Accuracy (5 points)
Readibility (5 points)
Neatness (5 points)

Triple Bar Graph (20 points)
Title, Axis Labeled (5 points)
Accuracy (5 points)
Readibility (5 points)
Neatness (5 points)

Line Plot (20 points)
Title, Axis Numbered (5 points)
Accuracy (5 points)
Readibility (5 points)
Neatness (5 points)

Stem-and-Leaf Plot (20 points)
Title, Axis Numbered (5 points)
Accuracy (5 points)
Readibility (5 points)
Neatness (5 points)

Task #1 (10 points)
Using your line graph and your bar graph, decide where you would like to have your Dad take you snowboarding. Use your statistics to explain why this resort would be the best choice.

Task #2 (10 points)
Use your line plot and your stem-and-leaf plot to decide how much money you would need to bring along for lift tickets to go snowboarding with your friend for 7 full days in Colorado. Figure this cost three ways: the cheapest ski resort, the most expensive ski resort and the median price ski resort.

CONCLUSION

After the 100 point packets have been returned to the students, a class discussion will follow focusing in on these four main ideas:

1) the advantage of using triple line and bar graphs to compare data among the three ski resorts

2) the ease of using line and stem-and-leaf plots to organize the data from the smallest to the largest and how to find the median value on these plots

3) the answer(s) to task #1

4) the answer(s) to task #2


The students will also discuss

1) in what other ways can we use statistics to make a decision

2) their attitude towards using statistics to make a decision

3) if they have developed an interest in learning how to snowboard

4) if they have developed a desire to travel to other parts of the United States