Making Decisions with Data Lesson 2: How Thick Are You?

Australian curriculum number (ACMSP118, ACMSP119, ACMSP120)

Lesson abstract

Students conduct a short test of viscosity for four common household products. They time how long it takes for each product to flow down a slope a specified distance. They represent this data on a column graph. Based on the data that they collect, they make statements about the viscosity of a selection of liquids.

Mathematical purpose (for students)

To represent numerical data effectively on a column graph.

Mathematical purpose (for teachers)

Students draw a simple column graph to display the results of a scientific experiment.  They also engage in a complex reasoning activity, and check the results using the collected data. 

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Record data and represent it on a column graph.
  • Make decisions about the accuracy of the data that they collect.
  • Use data to order a list of liquids based on viscosity.
  • Reason logically to combine several pieces of related information.