Teaching Statistics and Math Using Spreadsheet Tutorials and Galapágos Finches
This playlist can be used to teach several core concepts in math and statistics using standard spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, and actual research on Galapágos finches. The topics covered include mathematical formulae and functions, averages, standard deviation, error bars, standard error of the mean, and t-tests. The series of activities in the playlist allow students to practice spreadsheet and statistical techniques commonly used in scientific research, while exploring the effect of natural selection on morphological traits using quantitative evidence. The activities provide many opportunities for students to engage in data analysis and graphing, including making bar graphs and histograms.
By completing the resources in this playlist, students will be able to:
- Use standard spreadsheet software to organize data and perform calculations.
- Calculate descriptive measures of variability including range, sum of squares, variance, and standard deviation.
- Calculate standard error of the mean and confidence intervals, and use these calculations to add and interpret error bars.
- Statistically compare sample data from two populations by performing t-tests.
- Create and interpret bar graphs and histograms.
This playlist can be used in AP/IB Biology and undergraduate college courses. Implementing this playlist should take about four 50-minute class periods.