I created this project as a way for my 6th graders to practice their statistical skills. They loved it! They get to pretend to be epidemiologists studying a virus outbreak that is turning people into zombies. It's a fantastic way for students to see how statistics is used in the "real world" - they were also very interested to learn about the field of epidemiology.
Students are given data about infected people who are quarantined in an airport. They are also given two maps of the US and a worksheet to guide them through the analysis. Students get to determine:
- Where the virus is originating
- Which patients are likely to become zombies
- Which symptoms are most common
and advise a newly infected patient on their outcome.
-Creating dot plots, bar graphs, and frequency tables
-Describing the distribution of data
-Determining mean, median, mode, and range
-Evaluating the usefulness of the measure of central tendency based on the data’s distribution
It's really fun! The students loved poring over the data and maps - Let them highlight the "zombies" and the "recovered" patients with different colors. Please let me know how it goes and whether you have any suggestions!
The preview shows all of the pages in the student worksheet - except for the data chart and the maps! It took my students two 45 minute class periods.
If you enjoy this, check out the Alien Algebra Activity
for another fun end-of-year math lesson.