This activity is designed to help students understand which measure of central tendency—mean or median—is more appropriate when analyzing and reporting data. Students use estimation to gain an intuitive understanding of mean and then build on that knowledge through calculations. They discover some of the misconceptions about the mean and median of a data set and begin to understand the realities of how numbers can be used to inform readers in a persuasive manner.
The activity also gives students experience with using technology for the statistical calculations as they investigate relationships within scatterplots and lines of best fit. The activity concludes with students making conjectures—with supporting evidence—about which measure is more appropriate when reporting the data.
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NBA Salaries: A Statistical Dunk [Student Edition]
Statistical Dunk Data Sheet (Word)
NBA Data 2011-2012 (Excel)
NY Knicks Scatterplot Data (Excel)