So the M&M’s distribution activity went fairly well (now a week and a half later…) . I used Fathom to aggregate their data into a large table as they tabulated the counts of each color. Color was our main variable, but we also tracked the total counts and the mass of each bag.

I went around with a tablet and took pictures of the pie charts they made with their M&M’s which automatically uploaded to my computer through Dropbox’s camera upload feature! We scrolled through roughly 15 pie charts and compared them while the students marinated over the task of looking for a pattern. Turns out they thought they saw orange and green a lot and but not a lot of brown.

Later we used Fathom to summarize the distributions of each person’s color counts together. We found that Orange was the most popular color, with blue and green roughly tied for second.

Later we compared it to the “true” distribution numbers another AP Statistics teacher had obtained from the company and were able to discuss the causes of variance and whether they had potentially changed their distribution since the data had been sent from the company.

We also began to look at displays of a quantitative variable because they were interested in looking at the number of M&M’s per bag and the mean mass of the bags.

The students had a good time with it and we had a good chance to talk about what we could infer from the data.