Math, Projects, Technology

Probability + Bottle Flipping = Fun Learning!

Every year that I have taught, there have been new fads or trends that has captivated the interest of my students.  This year, I have noticed that the top 3 fads of my students are:

  • Fidget Spinners
  • Bottle Flipping
  • Slime

I have never been a teacher that has been bothered by the fads and trends that come around our campus.  In fact, I am pretty sure I am that weird teacher that enjoys them just about as much as my students.  As the end of the school year approaches, I started asking myself the question: How can I use the fads and trends that interest my students to encourage learning opportunities?  With less than week left of school, I knew that I needed to create an activity that would capture the interest of my students and…Well, to some extent, “trick” them into continuing to learn and engage in math practices.

Enter…Bottle flipping with probability!

Bottle Flipping: A Probability Activity

Objective: Calculate the probability of successfully flipping a bottle and having it land upright.

Group: 3 – 4 students

Directions: Each student will be given one minute to flip a water bottle as many times as possible.   The students in the group will log how many times the student flips the water bottle into the upright position.  Students will complete this process three times with different water levels – 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 full.   Students will log the information and determine the probability of each student successfully flipping the water bottle and compare the results of the different water levels.

Click HERE or on the image below to view the activity.

I am sure there are so many more ways to use bottle flipping in Math.  Off the top of my head, I think that there could be a lot of great activities using measures of central tendency and comparing the average number of successful lands per water bottle level.  Next year, maybe?

If you have other ideas on how to use bottle flipping for educational purposes in your classroom, please share in the comments below!

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