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Surf for More Math

Lesson 1 - Collecting Data


Use the following interactive games and activities to encourage students to have fun on the Web while learning about collecting data. Students can do these activities on their own or in pairs.


Make inferences and convincing arguments that are based on primary and secondary data.

Builds Upon

Student Book pages 82-83

Instructions for Use

Fish Farm lets students collect primary data and make inferences and arguments based on the data.

To use Fish Farm, scroll down and click on the "Open Java Applet" link. (Note: You may have to download a free Java Plug-in to make the applet work.) One fish is collected in each scoop and returned to the lake before the next scoop. To scoop out fish, input the number of scoops in the "Number of scoops" box, and press the "scoop" button. Click the "save_to_table" button to record the data in a table. Repeat the experiment several times to make comparisons and inferences about the sets of data in the table. Click the "reset" button to clear the data.


Circle Zap gives students an opportunity to collect primary data and make inferences from it.

To use Circle Zap, select the number of trials you want to try from the pull-down menu. Click the "Start Test" button. A coloured circle appears. Click as close to the centre of the circle as possible, and as quickly as possible. After each click in the circle, another circle appears at another location. To achieve greater accuracy, check the "Guide" box to show the centre of each circle. After the number of trials is complete, the results are displayed in the box on the right-hand side of the screen: First, the colour of the circle; then, the distance the click was from the centre of the circle (measured in points on the screen); and last, the time it took to click on the circle (measured in seconds).

Answer the questions below the activity, and then make up problems and gather the data. Develop convincing arguments based on the new data.


Canadians' Reading Habits lets students make inferences about the reading habits of Canadians in different age groups based on secondary data collected by Statistics Canada.

To use Canadians' Reading Habits, select a population from the pull-down menu. Look at the various age groups. Note which groups read more books, magazines, or newspapers. Look at how often they read. Make inferences and convincing arguments that are based on the secondary data.