Model Chance

Simulation software and classroom activities to help middle school students understand probability
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US National Science Foundation grant ESI-0454754
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Model Chance was a project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop simulation software and classroom activities to help middle school students learn about probability and data modeling. The simulation tool was integrated into our data-analysis software, TinkerPlots and was eventually released as TinkerPlots version 2.0.

One of the needs the project responded to was that at the time curriculum materials on probability conveyed little sense of the importance and range of applications of probability, and that prior to high school we treated probability and data analysis as separate strands. The new software and materials allowed students to investigate real-world problems, such as the probability of false positives from medical screening tests, the probability of injury from repeated exposure to various risks, and chance-based processes, such as evolution and diffusion.

The project team included researchers from 10 universities. Materials had been field tested at the Lynch Middle School in Holyoke MA, and Rose Park Middle School in Nashville TN.

NSF LogoThis project was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (ESI-0454754). Opinions expressed here are those of the project staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.