This is the fourth of seven linked lessons that provide the basis for an extended piece of statistical work based on population data. All seven lessons make use of population data sets available from the Population Research Bureau. This lesson focuses on the use of the standard deviation as a measure of spread, and the identification of statistical outliers.

Overview of task

This is the fourth of seven linked lessons that provide the basis for an extended piece of statistical work based on population data. All seven lessons make use of population data sets available from the Population Research Bureau. This lesson focuses on the use of the standard deviation as a measure of spread, and the identification of statistical outliers.

Mathematical strand

Statistics

Prior knowledge

This sequence of lessons should be accessible by all Core Maths students. Students need a good knowledge of summary statistics and graphical representations, as covered at GCSE level, and should have completed the previous three lessons in the sequence.

Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

•AQA

•C&G

•Eduqas

•Pearson / Edexcel

•OCR

Suggested approaches

Full teacher guidance is provided in the notes to the accompanying PowerPoint presentation. This activity provides a good starting point for paired or group work, including classroom discussion of the use of the standard deviation to identify possible statistical outliers within a population.

Resources/documentation

The annual World Population Data Sheet provides a wealth of useful data, which is referred to throughout this lesson. The Student resource sheet includes answer sheets for the presentation questions in all of the seven lessons; if students are using spreadsheets they can manage without the resource sheet; otherwise, it will definitely be needed. An assessment activity is also supplied as a separate worksheet.

Relevant digital technologies

Students will need access to a spreadsheet, and could use it to automate the calculations indicated in the resources, as well as using the built-in statistical functions. As well as the Population Research Bureau site cited above, Gap Minder is an indispensible resource.

Possible extensions

Suggestions for extensions are provided in the PowerPoint presentation.

Acknowledgement

Developed by Tom Carpenter.

Materials