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Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials *

Difficulty
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

People often draw conclusions from a small number of observations, and use those conclusions to evaluate the likelihood that an event will take place. But how easy is it to draw the wrong conclusion based on those observations? Will your predictions be accurate if an experiment is only performed a few times? The objective of this project is to determine what happens when a test with two equally-likely outcomes is performed only a small number of times.

You can test this by flipping a coin. A fair coin should have a 50/50 chance of landing either heads or tails. What happens if you flip a coin two times and record the results? What about ten times, twenty times, or even one hundred times? Do this and keep track of the total number of heads and tails for each set of flips. Does your overall result get closer to 50/50 as the number of flips increases? Why could it be potentially misleading to predict the odds of a coin landing heads or tails based on only a few coin flips?

Objective

The objective of this project is to determine what happens when a test with two equally-likely outcomes is performed only a small number of times.

Credits

Gabriel Desjardins

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 20 June 2014. Web. 21 Sep. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p006.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 20). Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p006.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-20

Bibliography

Variations

Show, using Bernoulli trials, what the likelihood of each outcome is.

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I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

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