StatCom P-12 Outreach Team Participates in Spring Fest 2009 - Department of Statistics - Purdue University Skip to main content

StatCom P-12 Outreach Team Participates in Spring Fest 2009


Callum Gundlach

Callum Gundlach tests his catapult

The StatCom P-12 Outreach team participated in this year's Spring Fest on April 18, 2009 at Purdue University. This was their fifth year to participate in the event. The StatCom P-12 Outreach team is run by Statistics in the Community (StatCom), a volunteer community outreach organization directed and staffed by graduate students in the Department of Statistics. With support from the Department of Statistics and Ellen Gundlach, the team set up several activities on the Memorial Mall at Purdue University to increase interest and involvement in statistics through the use of hands-on activities. Among this year's activites were:

Gummy Bear Catapults

Participants were allowed to make their own catapults with popsicle sticks or use ones that were ready-to-launch to test the shooting distance of gummy bears or gummy worms. This activity was used to demonstrate how to set up an appropriate statistical experiment, where participants could test the differences between skinny sticks vs. wide sticks, or gummy bears vs. gummy worms. They were able to see the importance of repeating the experiment as well as a potential learning bias that accumulated when an optimal launching position was found. Also, new and creative ways to optimize a launch were shared, such as instead of one pencil in the catapult, having three pencils to increase the tension of the catapult which caused the gummy bears to shoot 3 times as far as they had before.

Pirates of the Caribbean Liar's Dice

As seen in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, each player was given a cup of 5 dice. The players would shake up their dice, keeping them concealed from other players. The bidding would start with a prediction of the total number of a certain face of the were under all players cups, for example seven 6's. The next player would either have to increase the bid to eight 6's or challenge the last person that placed a bid if they did not think there were actually seven 6's total. After a challenge has been made, players would reveal their dice and the person that lost the challenge would forfeit a dice. The game continued until a player lost all of their dice. Players were able to use their intuition of the probability of having many of the same number on their dice.

Birth Month Chart

The birth month of visitors to the College of Science tent was collected and entered into a bar graph the participants could color.


The volunteers at this year's Spring Fest were: Megan Applegate, Allison Cummins, Juan Hu, Kelvin Ma, Yingfei Ma, Jermy Troisi, and David Young. The Outreach team would also like to thank the Gundlach family including Ellen, Philip, Callum, John and Dianne.

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