Illustrating the Central Limit Theorem

  • Illustrating the Central Limit Theorem

    Mimi Corcoran
    Sampling experiments with different types of beads give students a memorable hands-on experience.
    Statistics is enjoying some well-deserved limelight across mathematics curricula of late. Some statistical concepts, however, are not especially intuitive, and students struggle to comprehend and apply them. As an AP Statistics teacher, I appreciate the central limit theorem as a foundational concept that plays a crucial role in statistical inference; I also recognize that it presents quite a challenge for many students. I wanted to develop a classroom activity through which students could discover the tenets of the central limit theorem on their own and apply their knowledge to confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. The result is simple yet illustrative hands-on experiments in which students examine the distribution of sample statistics with varying sample sizes.
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