Plinko Probability

The Algebra 2 students at Skyline were presented with an unorthodox challenge. They were going to play "Plinko" (a game on the show "The

Price is Right") and try to win as much money as they could. Their only advantage over the players on television was that they had a chance to study the probabilities. The unit was redesigned in order to engage students in math in a different way. Resources for this redesign were made possible by the RTTT grant from the US Department of Education. Many students felt that this unit could have been done in a traditionally dry lecture series. Instead, we turned it in to something that they found interesting and fun! The students had to collect data by playing Plinko many times. They then analyzed and used their data to come up with the best strategies for winning the most money. There were several different ideas, several different strategies and plenty of different results. The students were really involved in this game; some even expressing great frustration when their strategies were not getting them as much money due to something as simple as bad luck. Seeing the students impassioned about having their hard work earn them the best results was refreshing both to the teacher and the students, and everyone had a blast learning math!