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Probability, Geometry and Sounding Rockets

Exploration Description

This exploration introduces the concept of theoretical vs experimental probability.  Using a board with geometric figures as targets and paper sounding rockets, participants will define what is success when aiming at a target.  Participants will collect data from experiments and use it to determine the probability of success.  This result will be compared with the theoretical prediction.  For advanced groups, the Buffon's needle problem will be simulated with different geometric figures.


  • Define probability and geometric probability.

  • Distinguish theoretical vs experimental probability.

  • Setting up and running an experiment.

  • Accurate calculation of geometric figures such as: rectangle, circle, triangle, etc.

  • Reflection and comparison of results with what is expected in the theory of probability.


  • Knowledge of the area of basic geometric figures.

  • Calculator that does basic operations - provided by us if needed.


AGE RANGE:  9 years and older.

TIME DURATION: 2, 3, or 4 hours, depending on age and depth desired.

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