Lead in the Gymnasium Drinking Fountain: Using Water Quality to Practice Hypothesis Testing for AP Statistics

Dalton Cooper, Math, West Charlotte High

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


AP Statistics is a course modelled off an introductory-level college math course. Teachers are not provided with clear standards or guidance for teaching inferential statistics in North Carolina math courses and so for many learners, this class is their first exposure to hypothesis testing: a central and critically important skill in hard sciences, policy, and social sciences. My unit uses water resources as a focal point for examining tests for statistical significance in assessing water quality both in municipal and natural systems. While there are a number of procedures for inferential statistics in AP Stats, this unit was specifically chosen to be Unit 7, which covers the t-distribution, as it would allow for teachers to utilize small data sets for analysis. By doing so, this opens the possibility for interdisciplinary, experiential learning wherein a relatively small class of students can collect and record their own data on water quality for statistical analysis.