We know that reading and writing are important skills for any discipline or career. Bring some real-world research experience to your advanced 8th grade classroom or high school math class by teaching them how to apply statistics. Students will have choice in determining the topic of their research project and students may work individually or in small groups to complete the assignment. Through real world application of statistics students will gain valuable experience with writing and reading parts of a research paper, analytical writing, which we all know is important to both college and career readiness. Bring the math to life by engaging students in the application of scatter plots to make predictions about any topic that interests them. You will have their engagement with the topic from the start by allowing individual insight into the topic of each project.
Use this project as another form of project based assessment where the final product is more than just a multiple choice test. Critical thinking and explaining your thinking are life skills that are difficult to measure using standardized tests. This project would make the perfect summative assessment for a statistics unit over trends in scatter plot data.
This project is also a perfect opportunity to prepare students for 21st Century skills such as using technology to make data organization and analysis easier. Students could learn to use MicroSoft Excel, Google Sheets, and the graphing calculator to make data analysis easier, more accurate, and more consistent with careers in research these days.