Experimental Probability

Students learn that probability can be found by conducting an experiment. For example, given a number cube that has the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on its faces, students are asked to toss the number cube 6 times and use the results to determine the probability of rolling a given number, such as 4. Note that the theoretical probability of rolling a 4 is 1/6 (1 favorable outcome) / (6 possible outcomes), but the experimental probability may be different from 1/6. For example, if a student tosses the number cube 6 times and fails to toss a 4, the experimental probability will be 0/6, or 0. Students learn that experimental probability approaches theoretical probability as the number of trials increases. For example, if a student tosses the number cube 100 times, the experimental probability of rolling a 4 will approach 1/6.

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