Experiments to test and compare reaction times offer opportunities for hypothesis testing and for devising and setting up experiments in a scientific way to control as many variables as possible. A wide range of data handling skills at varying levels can be used to display and analyse the data so that the significance of the results can be assessed.
TI-Nspire will display results in a variety of ways and do a wide range of statistical calculations. This means that less experienced students can access statistical displays and measures to analyse in order to test their theories that might otherwise have been too complex or time consuming.
The stages in the data-handling cycle will require students to:-
1. Pose a question about reaction times and plan how they will collect data to try to answer it.
2. Collect the data.
3. Represent and analyse their data.
4. Interpret and discuss their results.
Examples of practical experiments or internet reaction timers are suggested and there are two TI-Nspire documents, one giving examples using data already collected and one set up for students to insert their own data. There is also a detailed set of teachers? notes with questions for students to think about and a section with ?Further help for students?.
The activity makes use of a number of features of Ti-Nspire without the need for much prior experience and gives explanations to help students get started.