What are the odds of getting "tails" when you flip a coin? What is the chance that it will rain tomorrow? If you guess on a multiple choice test, how often will you probably guess correctly? All these questions involve calculating probability, and while these particular examples might seem trivial, learning how to figure probability is not. It is how weather forecasts are created; it is how businesses make some decisions; it is even how your insurance rates are calculated. The more accurately you can determine the probability of an event's occurrence, the less risk you face when you make choices. This site from the BBC's Skillwise series can provide students with a framework of understanding about probability so they can see that there are ways they can minimize their risks and maximize positive outcomes in everyday decisions by using statistics and calculating probabilities. This practical application of math skills moves the understanding of math from the theoretical to the real-world, and answers the perennial student question of "When am I ever going to use this?"
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.