Park City Mathematics Institute
Data, Statistics, and Probability

Cereal Box
by Beverly Farahani

Teacher Notes for Cereal Box
MS Word file || PDF format

Cereal Box Worksheet
MS Word file || PDF format

Use this activity to help students look at simulations. A cereal company has decided to include a toy of a cartoon character. There are 6 different characters in all. Students will create simulations to illustrate collecting one of each of the toys by imitating the purchase of boxes of cereal. The choice of how the simulation is created is left up to the student. Various simulations are shown in the teacher notes.

9 - 12


75 minutes

    Cereal Box Worksheet (one for each student)
    Dice (for each group of students)
    TI-84, TI-84+ calculator or other graphing calculator (optional)
    Computer with Fathom™ II software (optional)

This activity allows students to develop and carry out a simulation, and analyze results in terms of mean and median.

Note: The cereal box problem is intentionally open-ended to create a task with a high level cognitive demand.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.