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Learning Math Home
Data Sessoin 4:  The Five-Number Summary
Session 4 Part A Part B Part C Part D Part E Homework
Data Site Map
Session 4 Materials:

Session 4, Part A:
Min, Max, and the Two-Number Summary (20 minutes)

In This Part: The Data Set | The Two-Noodle Summary | The Two-Number Summary

When working with a large collection of data, it can be difficult to keep an accurate picture of your data in mind. One way to make it easier to work with large data sets is to reduce the entire data set to just a few summary measures (or numbers that describe significant characteristics of the data). In this session, you will learn how to determine summary measures from ordered data. For convenience, we'll be looking at small data sets, but these methods and interpretations apply to larger data sets as well.

For the following activities, you will need these materials:


a package of spaghetti or linguine


a metric ruler with millimeter markings


three pieces of paper or cardboard


a pen or pencil

Ask a Question
How long is a broken piece of spaghetti?

Collect Data
Break several spaghetti noodles into pieces to obtain 11 noodles of varying lengths. Make sure that no two noodles in your set are the same length. Draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper or cardboard large enough to display all the noodles in a row. Next, arrange the 11 noodles in order from shortest to longest along the horizontal line. Your arrangement should look something like this:

Noodles on an axis

Next > Part A (Continued): The Two-Noodle Summary

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