"Are your measurements accurate?" "How precise is that measurement?" Many students read these two questions as asking the same thing. This lesson will help them differentiate between accuracy and precision. They will first be introduced to the topics with a short series of handson activities. These activities are followed with a short video lesson to help your students further understand the concepts of accuracy and precision. The final portion of this lesson is a heavily graphic, Internetbased activity, during which the students will practice what they have learned. Opportunities for tutorial work and assessment are included on the Web sites.
Students will be able to:
 Define accuracy and precision, and differentiate between the two terms
 Apply the concepts of accuracy and precision to a given situation
 Correctly apply the concept of significant figures to measurement and mathematics operations
New York State Standards
 Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.
 Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
 Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in realworld settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry.
National Council for the Teachers of Mathematics Standards
Data Analysis and Probability
Instructional programs from preKindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to:
 Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them;
 Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data;
 Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data; understand and apply basic concepts of probability.
Communication
Instructional programs from preKindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to:
 Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication;
 Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
 Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others; use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.
Representation
Instructional programs from preKindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to:
 Create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas;
 Select, apply, and translate among mathematical representations to solve problems; use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena.
Video:
World of Chemistry #3: "Measurement"
Web Sites:
Antoine Uncertainty in Measurement Tutorial
http://antoine.frostburg.edu/cgibin/senese/tutorials/sigfig/index.cgi
This site provides an interactive look at precision and significant figures in measuring applications. The students are taken through a tutorial designed with appropriate feedback and remediation at each level.
Antoine Significant Figures Quiz
http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/measurement/sigfigquiz.shtml
The Antoine site provides a randomly generated quiz for students to test their application knowledge of significant figures, accuracy, and precision.
Per student:
 Copy of all handouts included in this lesson
Per pair of students:
 Three to four colors of magic markers
 computer with Internet access
Per class:
 Five to six velcrotype dart board game sets (available at Toys R Us).
