Estimation, Assumptions and Predictions

In the first instance the task provides a revision of ‘significant figures’ and estimating by rounding, before considering estimations and predictions in real life scenarios. Fermi estimation is then introduced. The question ‘Is climate change happening?’ is then posed.

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MATHEMATICAL STRAND

Number and Measures, Algebra and Graphs and Probability

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Prior knowledge

This task will be accessible to all. Basic arithmetic can be honed with the initial revision of estimation questions. Fermi estimation will appeal to many whilst reinforcing the concept of base 10.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson/ Edexcel
  • OCR

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Suggested Approaches

Ideal for: independent and/or group work for revision; predictions will provide opportunity for discussion and debate; collaborative approach for Fermi estimations.

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Resources/documentation

In addition to these teacher notes/guidance there are:

  • Link to YouTube for entertaining introduction to Fermi estimation
  • Answers to the ten ‘real life’ estimation problems – within the PowerPoint.

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Relevant Digital Technologies

Calculator

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Possible extensions

The task could provoke many questions from students which could lead the task in any number of directions.

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Acknowledgement

Developed by Nicola Letts at The Duston School and Tom Rainbow at Ivybridge.