Maths Resource of the Week 25


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The Human Brain

  • A fascinating and enjoyable research project.
  • What is it? - This is a truly amazing resource that is incredibly popular with GCSE and A Level Statistics students (and their teachers!). It is a real life practical investigation into human intelligence. The project takes students through three approaches for measuring human intelligence and encourages them to try them out in the classroom. These approaches include measuring human reaction time by means of a tricky ruler task, and human memory by an even more difficult random number recall challenge. What is really nice about all of this is that the tasks are so well structured and force students to think about the planning, collection, processing and interpretation of their data, skills which are often lacking in even the brightest of students. It is also a very valid introduction to real life practical research, and best of all the students love it. I have never seen a fifteen year old so keen to draw a box plot!
  • How could it be used? - This is a substantial project that would ideally be spread over around five hours of lessons. The instructions provided are very clear and give both you and your students an excellent overview of what is involved. I found it worked extremely well with a top set GCSE group (targets of A and A*). They arranged themselves into pairs, and dived straight in to Phase 1 of the project, which is the initial research. I decided to culminate the project with a presentation of findings from each group, followed by some peer assessing. The work rate, effort and levels of mathematical processing displayed by the students was outstanding, and was testament to this high quality resource.
  • How have you used this resource? - Please share your ideas below.
  • Uploaded by pbperth

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