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Exponential Decay M & M’s Math Lab

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The Objective: Students will model exponential decay in an experiment involving M & M’s. Materials Bag of M&M’s candies Small plastic cup to hold the m&m’s Graph paper Graphing Calculator Chart to record data

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Activity Count your m&m’s and put that total in the 0 trial line of your table. Put the m&m’s in the cup and shake. Pour them out and count the number of m&m’s that have the M in the “up” position. This is a survivor. Record the number of survivors on your table. Put the dead aside and put the survivors back into the cup and repeat. When there are no more survivors go to the analysis steps.

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**Analysis Graph data on a scatter plot on graph paper**

Analysis Graph data on a scatter plot on graph paper. Determine if the relationship in the graph between the trial number and survivors appears to be linear, quadratic, exponential, or none of the above. Use technology to construct a model for comparison. Calculate linear regression line for “line of best fit” on scatter plot.

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Exploring Exponential Decay Count your m&m’s and put the total on the 0 line. Put the m&m’s in the cup and shake. Pour m&m’s out and count the number of m&m’s that have the M in the “up position. This is a survivor. Record the number of survivors in the table. Put the dead aside and put the survivors back into the cup and repeat. When there are no more survivors go to the analysis steps. Trial Number Survivors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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