A Program of The Actuarial Foundation. Aligned with Common Core State and NCTM Standards.
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What is an actuary? An actuary is an expert in statistics who works with businesses, governments, and organizations to help them plan for the future. Actuarial science is the discipline that applies math and statistical methods to assess risk.

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Data Sampling: Making Effective Inferences

Using Representative Sampling to Solve Problems (Grades 6–8)

Welcome to "Data Sampling: Making Effective Inferences," a new suite of probability materials designed to give students opportunities to dig deep into the mathematics and real-world purposes of representative sampling.

Developed by The Actuarial Foundation with Scholastic, the program motivates students through interactive sampling experiences. The lesson flexibly incorporates online and offline components, including:

  • A cutting-edge digital interactive tool takes students to the town of "Statsboro," where the will of the people is waiting to be discovered through customizable random sampling.
  • Three engaging printable worksheets (see below) feature a snack company using sampling to conduct market research, including taste tests.

Download the Standards Chart: Common Core State and NCTM Standards (PDF), and access the program using the menu below. 


lessonInteractive Lesson: "Data Sampling—Making Effective Inferences"
Students will learn about characteristics of valid representative samples and use proportional reasoning to draw inferences.
Includes online and offline components, plus discussion questions.

toolDigital Interactive Tool: "Data Sampling—Representing Many by Sampling Some"

Students set up and compare samples as "intern to the mayor," using this flexible and customizable tool to gauge public opinion on teen-relevant policy issues and draw conclusions.

lesson1Worksheet 1: "Taste Testing"

Students will identify sample size and draw inferences from data (presented in graphs).

lesson2Worksheet 2: "Product Planning"

Students will explore various methods of random sampling to identify what makes a method statistically valid.

lesson3Worksheet 3: "Cooking Up Success"

Students will interpret and present survey results using tables or graphs.

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