Saturday, December 31, 2005

Central Limit Theorem Jr.

A while back, I linked to a Three-Toed Sloth post with a comment about kids and the Central Limit Theorem and followed up with a blog post about teaching it to kids. Today, I took my own kids to the Minnesota Science Museum and snapped a picture of a nice contraption designed to demonstrate the CLT to kids.

This is a pachinko-style machine. Put a penny under a hammer (lower right), pull the hammer back and let go. The penny shoots up to the top and drops through a slot in the center of the top of the machine. Next, the penny falls into a triangular lattice of plastic hexagons.

A Normal Distribution serves as the backdrop to the bins collecting pennies at the bottom of the machine.


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