Assignment: Casualties of War

Teacher's Information

Curriculum Connections

Category: Statistics, One and Two-Variable Analysis

Overall Expectations

STV.02 - Analyze data involving one variable using a variety of techniques.

Specific Expectations

ST2.01 compute, using technology, measures of one-variable statistics (i.e., the mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, variance, and standard deviation), and demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate use of each measure;

ST2.02 interpret one-variable statistics to describe characteristics of a data set;

Necessary Pre-Assessment

1. Students should understand how to calculate manually the mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, variance, and standard deviation before attempting to calculate using computer software.

Time Length

One to two periods, depending on computer access and student ability.

Materials Needed

  1. Handouts for each student.
  2. Excel spreadsheet file with raw data on number and type of ships sunk during Battle of Atlantic.
  3. Access to computer lab, and software such as Fathom or MS Excel.
  4. Students will need access to the Internet to send finished work to teacher.

Teacher Instructions

  1. Hand out student assignment sheets.
  2. Students may wish to work in partners, if space is limited and at the teacher's discretion.
  3. Students will use the raw data in Excel spreadsheet called Atlantic Data.xls to create different types of graphs (histograms, circle graphs, etc.) using Excel (and Fathom if time).
  4. Students will also calculate measures of central tendency and spread using raw data given in the Excel spreadsheet.
  5. Teacher would benefit from having presentation resources to help demonstrate how to use Excel.
  6. Once finished, each student or group will email the teacher their finished results and graphs.
  7. Graphs can then be used to analyze different patterns and positions of boats sunk during the war.

The Battle of the Atlantic - Casualties of War

  1. Open Microsoft Excel file named Battle of Atlantic Data.xls.
  2. Organize the raw data presented and create bar graphs of the following variables:
    1. British, allied and neutral ships sunk vs. month
    2. German U-Boats sunk vs. month
    3. Total Gross Tonnage sunk vs. month
  3. From the data on 'Loss Summary by Cause', create the following circle graphs:
    1. Total number of ships sunk, by cause
    2. Total gross tonnage of ships sunk, by cause
  4. Using a graph of your choice, illustrate and compare the location of the most number of ships sunk in 1940 vs. 1941.
  5. Find the mean, median and mode for the total gross registered tonnage sunk. Which measure of central tendency best represents the average gross tonnage?
  6. Find the range, standard deviation and interquartile range for the total gross registered tonnage sunk.
    1. What percentage of the data falls within one standard deviation of the mean?
    2. Are there any outliers in this data? If so, how do they affect the standard deviation?
  7. Compare and analyze the two graphs 'British, allies and neutral ships sunk'; and 'German U-Boats sunk'. Think about causes for the trends shown in the graphs.
  8. When did the United States join the second world war? Does this fact affect any of the trends shown in the graphs studied? Explain.