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Lessons 1: It’s All Random

Many natural disasters are often unpredictable, and you never know when and where one will strike. Similar to winning a slot machine, predicting a natural disaster is a rare occasion. It’s time to put your guessing skills to the test. Are you feeling lucky?

Doing the science

  1. Start the Trouble Incorporated Simulation by clicking on the "Sim" tab.
  2. Read the instructions provided.
  3. Click on the "Click Here" button under the "Event" category.
  4. Choose a natural disaster (bridge collapse, earthquake, flood, hurricane, or tornado) to predict the disaster by clicking on the yellow icon.
  5. Click on the "Click Here" button under the "Where" category.
  6. Choose a city (Orlando, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Chicago) to predict the location of the disaster by clicking on the yellow icon.
  7. Click on the "Click Here" button under the "Severity" category.
  8. Choose the severity level (catastrophic, moderate, or severe) by clicking on the icon.
  9. Click on the golden "Spin" button to start the machine.
  10. In Table 1 below, record the predictions in each category that you got correct with a "c", incorrect with an "x."
  11. Repeat steps 3 – 10 nine more times.

Table 1.

Spin

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Event

Where

Severity

Do You Understand?

  1. Discuss your ability to correctly predict the outcome of each spin. Suggest a reason for your ability to correctly/incorrectly predict the spin outcomes.


  2. Was there a category (Event, Where, or Severity) that you predicted the spin outcome correctly more often than the other categories? If so, state a reason for your improved prediction ability in this category.


  3. What is the probability of getting all 3 predictions correct on each spin?