Probability & Statistics (On-Level, Honors)


The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million. 77% of teens ages 12-17 have cell phones. One out of every two of youth voters cast a ballot in 2020. From election polls to stock market data and weather reports to medical test results, statistics and probability are all around us. They are quoted in the podcasts we listen to, the news we watch, and the textbooks and articles we read. Statistics and probability are used in almost every field of study and career for forecasting, decision making, and tracking progress. In 2021-22, the government will release a tsunami of 2020 census statistics about our country's population. (Coincidentally, the odds of a tsunami hitting the east coast- less than the Powerball win.) But statistics and probability are also often misused, misquoted or incorrectly applied, so having a solid understanding of what these numbers represent will help make teens informed consumers and decision-makers.

This course will explore the collection and analysis of data, inferences and conclusions, and the use of this information. Themes include relationships between variables, gathering data, interpreting categorical versus quantitative data. The class will also cover sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies and evaluate randomness and probability. Finally, students will learn about making inferences, justifying conclusions, and using probability to make decisions.

Prerequisite: Students should have a solid foundation Algebra I and Geometry in order to take this class. It is an ideal class for a student who needs an additional credit in high school math, but who may not wish to pursue more advanced mathematics courses such as Algebra II and Pre-Calculus.

Levels:The course provides a substantive, full-credit experience on either an Honors or On-Level track. All class members share core material and participate in the same class lectures. Honors students will receive additional, more challenging problems. Students register online for the same course, but must indicate which level they wish to follow by the first day of class. Students may move down a level (from Honors to On-Level) at any time.

Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-1.5 hours per day on reading, review, and homework on most non-class days. Homework assignments will run on an approximately 11-day cycle in this class with: a new unit introduced on a Thursday (day 1), lecture on Monday (day 4), questions and answers on the next Thursday (day 8), and homework due the next Monday (day 11). After introduction of a new topic (day 1), students will be expected to read the assigned section and look through worked, sample problems before the next lecture. Solutions will be provided for some homework problems, but students are expected to show all steps of all work.

Assignments: The Canvas online class management system will be used to post assignments and scores. Students should have their own e-mail address to be set up users of the Canvas system. Parents can also be set up as Canvas guests/observers for purposes of tracking the student's progress and workload.

Assessments: In this class, the instructor will assess a student's progress by: checking that weekly homework sets are complete; spot-checking the full solution 1-2 select problems in class each week, and giving quarterly take-home tests. Points will also be awarded for class participation. Parents will be able to view accumulated points awarded in the class for purpose of determining a parent-awarded course grade.

Textbook: The required textbook for this class is "Stats In Your World" 1st edition by David E. Bock (ISBN-13 : 978-0131384897).

Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a complete credit in Probability & Statistics for purposes of a high school transcript.

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