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Does this graph prove or disprove the theory by jqr68J8Y

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```									                         Dr. Olivo’s Hairy Eyeball Theory
A Middle School Lesson
Submitted by Kathy Hill
kathymarie56@hotmail.com

The Mathematics: Scatter plots are used to analyze data and search for
relationships.

The task: Students will time each other to see how long they can hold their eyes
open. They will also measure the length of each other’s hair. The goal is for students
to graph the data to prove or disprove Dr. Olivo’s hairy eyeball theory.
(Adapted from: A Graphing Matter: Activities for Easing into Algebra by Mark
Illingworth)

Materials: Metric rulers and stop watches.

The Lesson:
1. Say: “Have you ever wondered what the expression “hairy eyeball” means? You
might think that it has something to do with the look your teacher gives you when you
are doing something that you shouldn’t but what do hair and eyes have to do with
one another? Dr. Maria Olivo (not a real person) believes that long hair makes people
blink. Apparently the added weight puts pressure on the nerve endings around the
base of the follicles, stimulating overall increased neural activity, which results in
more frequent blinking. Do you believe this?”

2. Have students form groups of three with the following roles: blink observer, blink
timer, and blinkless test subject. Rotate positions until each person has been tested.

3. Have students measure the length of their partner’s longest hair in centimeters.

4. Place data points on the posted classroom graph.

 Does this graph prove or disprove the theory?
 What would the graph look like that proves her theory?
 Is there a relationship between time without blinking and the length of a
person’s hair?
 Brainstorm variables that might really affect how long a person can hold his
eyes open.
1. Discuss class graph. Sample:

70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0       5   10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
length of longest hair (cm)

2. List variables that might really affect how long a person can hold his eyes open.
Have students pick a variable and pretend that they conducted the experiment.
Draw what they think the graph would look like. Samples:                          time with out blinking

120

120
100                                                                100
80                                                                 80
(sec)
(sec)

60                                                                 60
40                                                                 40
20                                                                 20
0                                                               0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18                                         0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
hours aw ake                                                     cups of coffee

Have students share and explain their graphs.

Optional: Discuss vocabulary –
Independent variable – value that is changed on purpose (length of longest hair)
Dependent variable – value that is affected by the change (time without blinking)
Correlation – when there does appear to be a relationship between the variables but
it does not always imply a cause-effect relationship
Weak – loose pattern of the data points
Strong – tight pattern of the data points suggesting either a line or curve
Positive – slope moving up; both variables increasing
Negative – slope moving down; one variable increasing and the other variable
decreasing

Assessment: Make up a fake theory. Design and conduct an experiment. Graph the
data. Explain how the graph proves or disproves the theory.

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