form hypotheses based on preliminary research about trends in the ages of
Academy Award winning actors and actresses. To test their hypotheses, students
use the measures of central tendency to analyze the ages of Academy Winners for
the last 50 years. They determine the averages (mean, median, mode), construct
box plots and interpret the results. Students write reports and make
presentations justifying their conclusions.
Science, Social Studies
Learning Levels: Grades 7-9Author(s): Douglas Blackmore
How can we help students draw inferences from data and graphs to support hypotheses? Using the Academy Awards and the ages of award winning leading actors and actresses, we can determine trends in the age of future Award winners.
Statistics: Mean, Median, & Mode
Council of Teachers of Mathematics 9–12 Standards:
hypotheses from real world situations
and draw inferences from graphs that summarize data from real-world
and value connections between mathematics and other disciplines
generalizations discovered through investigations
mathematical ideas orally and in writing
Science Education 9–12 Standards:
technology and mathematics to improve investigations
discussions take place in the classroom. The students should be able to find
mean, median, mode, quartiles and create box plots. The activity can be
completed using pen and paper or technology.
wired classrooms; Internet research, Excel spreadsheet graphs and Power Point
presentations are completed using both the school computer lab and classroom
and Paper assignments can be used to complete the project. Graphing calculators
can be used to calculate the measures of central tendency.
will discuss recent Academy Award Films, actors, and actresses. Ask students if
they think the ages of the award winning Hollywood famous are changing. From the
discussion/research, have students formulate an hypothesis about a possible
Obtain hard statistical data about Hollywood leading actors and actresses ages for the last fifty years.
students divide the data into 25 year periods. A spreadsheet or a graphing
calculator can be used to calculate mean, median, mode and quartiles for each 25
year period. Use the statistical data to create a box plot for each period.
students interpret the data for each period for actors and for actresses.
Determine if the change in the measures of central tendency show a trend in the
ages of present Academy Award winners.
are to write a report supporting their hypotheses.
activity involves whole class presentations as well as students working in pairs
or groups of three. Within each group, decisions must be made regarding
organization, tasks, and responsibilities. Members should collaborate as needed
to share technology and content knowledge.
student is responsible for completing a report presenting findings.
teacher will advise group members on organization, assist with research and
technology. The teacher may lead small group discussions to help students to
make inferences about the age trends from the data.
individual scores based on a 3-2-1 rubric for participation in group discussions
and collection of data, data analysis and graphing, and report writing and
students state clearly the hypotheses they are investigating?
they accurately analysis the data?
they accurately construct the relevant graphs?
their interpretations of the graphs valid?
the students’ conclusions justified by the data?