Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gridiron Glory -- "The Big Game" Data Analysis Paper Football Project

I have heard that Americans like Football. I have also heard about an important game that happens in February. I have heard that it's a day that nachos dread. In this 21st Century Math Project, students will investigate this cultural phenomenon in the best possible way (with data!)

Buckle your chin strap, here comes math in your face and
there is no such thing as unnecessary roughness in my class
Name: Gridiron Glory
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (assignments are aimed at a variety of age groups)
Math Concepts: Data Analysis, Regression and Expected Value
Interdisciplinary Connections: Sports, Advertising
Teaching Duration: 3-5 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $8 for a 21 Page PDF (1 project, 4 assignment and answer keys) 

PDF Version: Gridiron Glory @ TPT

The Product: Students use expected value to guide their decision making in a Paper Football Tournament.

I realized when I first started teaching that students liked three things. Food, Sports and telling the Teacher about all the drama in the school. Luckily I liked food, sports and hearing about all the drama in the school. Actually that's a lie -- my class was a drama free zone. 

Huh? Food! What?
Since I know a number of teachers would be interested in hosting a Paper Football Tournament, I decided to write preliminary assignments for a wide range of learners. All of them could be used in high school, but some would be review. The assignments break down like this:

-- “Bragging Rights”. This assignment is designed more toward middle school students, but can be used for high school review. Students will analyze Super Bowl data to determine which divisions have historically had the most success. They will compute Winning Percentage and construct a bar graph and a pie graph. 

-- “Super Sunday LX”. This assignment is geared more toward students with algebra skills. Students will use historical television data to create lines of best to predict the future. This assignment would work best on TI graphing calculators. This also shows the limits of linear models because the Commercial Cost linear model has serious limitation. 

Great. Even though I don't care about
that icky football stuff, I can learn
about T-tests! That's rigorous!
-- “Super Sunday Predictions”. This is an advanced statistics assignment that will require calculations of Mean, Standard Deviation, Variance and beginning level usage of a T-Test. Students will analyze Points For and Points Against of Super Bowl Winners and Losers to see if there is a significant difference between the means (this is what the T-Test is for). If there is a significant difference, then that could be used to predict the winner of the next Super Bowl. Find out!

-- “Training Camp”. This is a preliminary assignment to the grand finale a Paper Football Championship Tournament! Students will measure their Paper Football skills with a variety of tasks. With the results of the assignment, students will need to calculate their expected value. At the end they will use these four expected values to calculate their “Paper Football Rating”.
I should be teaching next door, but
I really want to play in the Paper
Football Tournament

-- "Paper Football Championship Tournament".  Each game should have two students playing the roles of referee and statisticians. These students should receive the “Drive Log” and mark attempts for further statistical analysis and keep score. The essential question with the Paper Football Championship is "does the Expected Value “Paper Football Ratings” predict who the winner of the tournament will be?" 

You can go as crazy with this as you’d like. If you want students to have team names and coaches, go for it. If you want a prize or a trophy, go for it. You can become the best teacher of all time.

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