Random Problem Idea: Butt Dialing 9-1-1
Okay, so not much thought went into this one, but it might work well as a starter to a unit on probability (it has zero engagement value if the students already know how to “calculate” it).
A co-worker told a story yesterday about how the cops showed up at his house because his young son had been playing with the phone and accidentally called 911.
So what are the odds of dialing 911, in that sequence, on accident? It could be very simple (don’t forget to include the * and # keys), or there could be more to it: wouldn’t you think the odds of accidentally hitting the same number twice in a row would be a little higher (an argument espoused by EmergentMath last night)? And what if there are more buttons, like my hotel phone?