Plinko is a game that is played on a TV show called the Price is Right. If you were to win on the Price Is Right and had the opportunity to play Plinko, is there some place you could put your Plinko chip on the Plinko board to have the best chance of winning? Can you use your knowledge of probability to improve your chances? This activity will help you answer those questions and may lead you to other answers as well.
1. What is Plinko? If you already know what it is, answer question 1 on the worksheet provided by your teacher (or download it from the Resource List below #5). If not, go to the resource list below and click on Plinko1, and then answer the question on the worksheet.
2. Now you will take a closer look at the Plinko board and have a chance to play the game. Select the website Plinko2 from the Resource List below and scroll down the article to Figure 1 Schematic of Plinko Board. This is the way the Plinko board looks. Answer question 2 on the worksheet.
3. In the Plinko2 website, scroll below Figure 1 Schematic of Plinko Board down to the bottom of the page and play the game several times with 5 trials and with 100 trials. Answer questions 3 and 4 on the worksheet.
4. Go to Plinko 3 and run the simulation several times. Then answer the question 5 on the worksheet.
5. The Plinko board has 12 levels. Make a Pascal's triangle using 12 rows. Then finish the questions on the worksheet.
6. After you have finished the worksheet, compare your answers to those of one other student in the class. Note the similarities and differences between your conclusions and theirs. Discuss what might account for the differences if there are any.
7. When everyone has finished you will have an opportunity to present your results on the document camera. Be prepared to discuss what you have found, why you think your conclusions are accurate, and how this might be applied to other situations.