‪The Monty Hall Problem or How to Outsmart a Game Show and Win a Car‬

MIT Blossoms

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This lesson teaches students how to make decisions in the face of uncertainty by using decision trees. It is aimed for high school kids with a minimal background in probability; the students only need to know how to calculate the probability of two uncorrelated events both occurring (ie flipping 2 heads in a row). Over the course of this lesson, students will learn about the role of uncertainty in decision making, how to make and use a decision tree, how to use limiting cases to develop an intuition, and how this applies to everyday life. The video portion is about fifteen minutes, and the whole lesson, including activities, should be completed in about forty-five minutes. Some of the activities call for students to work in pairs, but a larger group is also okay, especially for the discussion centered activities. The required materials for this lesson are envelopes, small prizes, and some things similar in size and shape to the prize.

This lesson has an accompanying animation that allows students to explore the Monty Hall problem in depth, most likely at home on a computer. You can view here: http://blossoms.mit.edu/legacy/monty-hall/index.htm

For more information, visit: http://blossoms.mit.edu/videos/lessons/monty_hall_problem_or_how_outsmar...

Lesson tags: 
Good for Parents
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)
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