What are the Odds?

Nikki Petzer

Senior Annie Sadler partcipates in a exciting approach to probability class. Credit: Hayley Plotz
Senior Annie Sadler partcipates in a exciting approach to probability class. Credit: Hayley Plotz

Teachers are always looking for fun ways to teach their classes. Regardless of the subject, making an hour and a half long class exciting and interactive while simultaneously keeping it in­formative and relevant is a huge chal­lenge. Most classes follow a repetitive pattern in which they take notes and then take either a quiz or a test on the content.

Some teachers have overcome this mindless pattern so that students can actually enjoy the class they are tak­ing while still learning the subject. Joe Broscious, a mathematics teacher, is one of these innovators.

For two years in a row, Broscious and his Algebra Functions class have put on a Probability Carnival. Since probability is the unit that his Alge­bra Functions class is focused on in the first quarter, it is an appropriately themed event.

“I like to make my classes active and hands-on and let my students use their creativity,” Broscious said, “[The Probability Carnival] incorporates content taught in class.”

In order to help his students ap­ply math to real life, Broscious gave his students a variety of game ideas to choose from that were related to probability. Then, different groups each chose one games to create for the carnival. Some ideas suggested by Broscious included a game in which the target was to knock over a stack of six cans with a bouncy ball and a ring toss game.

The one thing that these activi­ties have in common is probability. In games like ring toss, there is a certain probability that the ring will land on the bottle with any given throw.

Through games like this, students learn to calculate probability. In ad­dition, students can see the way in which probability is present in all sorts of everyday events.


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