Gizmo of the Week: Geometric Probability

In the Geometric Probability Gizmo, students explore the relationship between two fields of mathematics: probability and geometry. In the Gizmo, students create a target that consists of a small blue square set into a larger red square. They then simulate throwing darts randomly at the target.  Using an everyday activity like throwing darts, students can see how large numbers lead to statistical patterns in data. By changing the sizes of each square, students can see how the percentage of darts that hit each part of the target is related to the relative sizes of the squares. At the end of the activity, students are challenged to create generalized equations that describe their observations from the Gizmo.

Geometric probability can be used in ways that may not seem to directly relate to geometric shapes, such as the probability of catching a bus. Check out some interesting applications of geometric probability.

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