Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials *

Areas of Science Pure Mathematics
Difficulty
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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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.

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Credits

Gabriel Desjardins

Cite This Page

General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials." Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Math_p006/pure-mathematics/frequency-of-outcomes-in-a-small-number-of-trials. Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Math_p006/pure-mathematics/frequency-of-outcomes-in-a-small-number-of-trials


Last edit date: 2017-07-28

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Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

Variations

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

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