Class Opener – Day 23 – Galton Boards and Plinko

Today’s opening video was intended to spiral back to Pascal’s Triangle, and generate discussion surrounding the behavior of outcomes in binomial experiments.

In particular, do objects dropped from the center tend to gravitate towards the middle bottom slots? What needs to occur for marbles to reach the end slots?  This led to one of my favorite activities of the year: playing Plinko!

You can find more details about the Plinko lesson in this previous Plinko post. In my Prob/Stat classes, we connect these probabilities to binomial theorem expansions, which we just studied.

pingpongThis fun applet, from mathisfun.com, has adjustable probabilities and rows and was then used to demonstrate the behavior of binomial experiments over many trials. This was especially helpful when we started talking about binomial settings where the results are not equally likely.

So, let’s get ready to play Plinko!

plinko

 

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