Learning objects Mystery spinner

TLF ID L2382

Look at results in a frequency graph compiled after testing an unseen spinner. Work out the likely proportions of colours in the mystery spinner. Use a tool to build a new spinner (a dial with a pointer). Choose up to twelve equal-sized sectors. Fill the sectors with up to five colours. For example, make a six-part spinner with three red sectors, two blue sectors and one yellow sector. Test the new spinner over a number of spins. Look at a graph of the test results. Compare it to the graph generated by the mystery spinner. Are the results similar? This learning object is the last in a series of three objects that progressively increase in difficulty.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students explore the difference between the information provided by short-run, medium-run and long-run data.
  • Students explore the relationship between sample space and likelihood of outcomes.
  • Students analyse experimental data to identify mathematical equivalence in random generators.
  • Students interpret data in tables and graphs.
Educational value
  • Students use frequency graphs and data tables to compare theoretical outcomes and actual results.
  • Includes a tool enabling students to construct area-based random generators in the form of spinners and to run trials to generate short-run, medium-run and long-run data.
  • The spinner tool maximises student choice, control and creativity as they explore the results from making various spinners.
  • Experimental results are dynamically displayed in a column graph and a table that shows both theoretical outcomes and actual results.
  • Supports both visual and numerical strategies through use of random generators, graphs and tables.
Year level


Learning area
  • mathematics
  • Mathematics/Statistics and probability
    • Mathematics/Probability
    • Mathematics/Random events
    • Mathematics/Sampling
    • Mathematics/Statistics
    • Mathematics/Guess-Check-Improve
    • Mathematics/Experiments
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling;
    • Data manipulation and interpretation;
    • Estimation
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Technical implementer
    • Script writer
    • Name: Michael Wagner
    • Organisation: Godwin + Wagner
    • Address: Box Hill South VIC 3128 Australia
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Jenni Way
    • Address: Springwood NSW 2777 Australia
    • Educational validator
    • Name: Graham Jones
    • Address: Broadbeach QLD 4218 Australia
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    Access profile
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.