This introductory lab is a fun way to analyze data and the students look forward to finding the results each year. Who will be taller, boys or girls? Will we be taller than last year’s class? You can really analyze the data in multiple ways, you can also add the concept of min, max, mode, and range in addition the mean, you can look for trends, and you can talk about sample size, etc…
This lesson can be used as part of your unit on reproduction, a stand alone lesson to practice collecting and analyzing data, or as part of a math lesson on statistics. This lesson can be extended in several different ways: you can add graphing, plotting data using a stem and leaf (link) for the dates, finding min, max, mode, averages, etc…
The students enjoy this lesson because it is a fun way to analyze their birthdays and many students didn’t know what day of the week they were born on.
Before starting the activity, have the students practice finding their pulses and counting. I find that they are more likely to feel their pulse on their neck (carotid) near their jaw.
For the lab, students will first get a baseline for their heart rate. They average their sitting and standing pulse and use that pulse to compare the other activities to. Each student will then make their own hypothesis, which activity will have the highest pulse? The lowest pulse?
Class management tip: We did each step of the lab together, and I kept time using the online stopwatch on the screen. That way, we were all jogging in place or doing jumping jacks at the same time.
Students recorded their data on to the excel spreadsheet and I collected and entered data onto my copy. Each student shared their data, one at a time, while the rest of us entered it. If you have google docs, you can add all data to the same shared Google Sheets.
The template that I have uploaded will automatically do the calculations for you and create a bar graph. You can turn that feature off, by deleting the formulas and graph, if you want students to learn how to use the formula for averages and create charts.
If you are having any issues with the excel sheet, or want to modify it, please reach out to your technology specialist for assistance.
For related lesson plans, please visit my Life Science page.
In this activity, students collected data from different cities around the world and entered the sunrise, sunset, and moonrise times into an excel spreadsheet. I have the spreadsheet set up to automatically graph the data as it is entered into excel for 7 consecutive weeks. (I printed out and photocopied the 4th tab of the spreadsheet to make it easier for the students to collect their data and then enter into the spreadsheet)
For my classes, I gave everyone the information for the New Jersey data (it is in the spreadsheet as an example, but you can easily delete it and modify as needed). This gave everyone a foundation to make their comparisons. Each student was randomly assigned their first city, and when done, were able to choose any city from the list for their 3rd choice.