Probability Models

posted Jun 3, 2014, 1:02 PM by Patrick Johnson
Students are learning to use a probability model to solve an everyday problem. Students modeled collecting 4 different coloured action figures from a cereal box.  Our question was how many cereal boxes would you have to buy to collect all 4 action figures?

Students put 4 different coloured tiles in a bag to represent the chance of getting 1 of the 4 action figures from a cereal box. Students drew a tile from the bag and recorded the colour in a tally chart then replaced the tile in the bag. They continued the experiment until they had drawn all 4 colours. Students repeated the experiment a few times.

Our Action Task:

Students carrying out their experiment with a partner and recorded their results on a tally chart:


What we discovered:
In total, our class carried out the experiment 47 times. The mode of our results was 4 (it took 4 boxes of cereal to get all 4 action figures) but that result only happened 14 out of 47 times. Our highest number was 18 (it took 18 boxes of cereal to collect all of the action figures).

We discussed that our model assumed it was equally likely to get the actions figures in a box (for example that the manufacturer made the same amount of figures in each colour). We carried out another experiment where it was less likely to get the green action figure than the other colours. Our computer model predicted it would take 24 boxes of cereal to collect all 4 action figures!


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