This activity is aimed at teaching the importance of a data analysis in finding a pattern embedded in raw data. It also has a potential to be integrated with the concept of variation.
During this activity, students sort sunflower seeds out based on the number of strips on seeds. When putting a whole class data set together, students can find a visual and apparent pattern on the number of strips on sunflower seeds.
Reflective questions that address the importance of enough data points include “How representative do you think your seed is of all the other sunflower seeds?” “By looking at one seed, do you think what you noticed are common-shared characteristics?” A debriefing focuses on the idea that when scientists make observations and collect data, they not only think about those observations and then they start reorganizing their information in a way that makes it easier to interpret both visually and mathematically.
Sunflower seeds, transparent plastic cups, magnifying glasses