Makey Makey Math – Coding Probability Simulators #makerED

Makey Makey Math - Coding Probability Simulators #makerED

As I gear up to present student work at ETFO’s ICT Conference in Toronto, I’d like to share some ideas:

1. Coding allows for students to learn across math strands instead of in isolation.

2. Coding is a place for students to fail safely.

3. Coding allows students to take risks and solve problems.

4. Computational thinking is a form of problem solving not accomplished with textbook work.

5. “Making” is creative. Creativity is fun.

Here is a student application coded to support our Grade 8 probability strand. We extended our projects with Makey Makeys so users had a physical interaction.

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This student used pie shells and water to run his coin flipper. Notice that he added food colouring so we didn’t accidentally reset the experimental data.

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What many people don’t realize is that fundamental principles of Measurement, Algebra and Geometry are required to code these probability simulators. Moving sprites across a screen requires manipulating X and Y values on a Cartesian Plane. Estimating ad recording distance to move each sprite is a big idea of Measurement. Lastly, the number of flips, heads and tails variables are all – well – variables. The concept of storing numbers in a variable is not a new idea to this group and I look forward to our Algebra unit because solving for unknown variables won’t be such a foreign concept.

Have a look at his app below. Run it a few times. Does it calculate experimental probability? What happens the more times you run the simulator? (Hint: Law of Large Numbers) – Press your UP arrow to run. The turbo button is fun too. Down arrow will reset the data – it is meant to be physically controlled by the make makey.



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