Olympic 100m sprint times

This set of lessons was inspired by the specimen pre-release materials from the C&G syllabus, which led to an idea by Ian Turner at Weston College. What I have included in this is the way that I used his idea. This is a realistic example which uses quite a manageable-sized data set. The students will be able to present the data and then analyse it in order to draw conclusions and make predictions. They can then assess the validity of the conclusions that they have made. The task revolves around the times that both men and women have taken to win the 100m sprint at the Olympic Games in relatively recent years. It is very easy for them to find the data for 1928 to the present day – or they can be presented with the data.

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Overview of task

This set of lessons was inspired by the specimen pre-release materials from the C&G syllabus, which led to an idea by Ian Turner at Weston College. What I have included in this is the way that I used his idea. This is a realistic example which uses quite a manageable-sized data set. The students will be able to present the data and then analyse it in order to draw conclusions and make predictions. They can then assess the validity of the conclusions that they have made. The task revolves around the times that both men and women have taken to win the 100m sprint at the Olympic Games in relatively recent years. It is very easy for them to find the data for 1928 to the present day – or they can be presented with the data.

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Prior knowledge

Appreciation of plotting bivariate data and identifying trends from lines of best fit.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

•AQA

•C&G

•Eduqas

•Pearson / Edexcel

•OCR

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Suggested approaches

Suitability for group work and collaboration, with many opportunities for discussion

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Resources/documentation

Initial handout of data and questions for students Extensive teacher notes with suggested questions and anticipated responses/outcomes Data provided in spreadsheet Graphs with lines of best fit provided in Autograph – probably better for comparison once students have completed the tasks

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Possible extensions

Consider a different event, e.g. the marathon, 1,500 metre, high jump, etc. Consider world records rather than Olympic performance. Consider merits of both.

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Acknowledgements

Developed by Ian Turner at Weston College and Helen Kelsey, Strode College.