6th Grade - Samples Of The Population

 Grade Level: 6th Skill: Statistics Topic: Samples of the Population Goal: Compare different samples of a population with the data from the entire population and identify a situation in which it makes sense to use a sample. Skill Description: Data is normally collected to answer a specific question. If data is being collected from the entire group, the population is being studied. A survey taken of the population will always be the most representative of the group. However, if the population is too large to study each part individually, a sample will be taken. A sample is a survey that is taken by only looking at part of a population. There are different types of samples that can be taken. If a sample is taken from a group that already exists (ex. 6th period math students or friends) it is called a convenience sample. Often times, convenience samples don’t represent the entire population and can make the survey biased. A biased survey does not fairly represent the entire population and at its results are often misleading. A random sample, however is the most reliable sample and will be the least biased of all sample types. A random sample best represents the entire population because all members of the population have an equally likely chance to be included in the survey, however only a set about will be chosen. An example of a random sample is the names of all students in a school being placed in a bucket and 50 names being drawn to choose the sample group. A systematic sample is another fairly reliable sampling method. When a pattern is used to find the sample group, a systematic sample is being conducted. For instance, if a list of students from a school is printed and every 10th student is interviewed, this is a systematic sample. This sampling method is not as representative of the entire population as a random sample, because each member of the population does not have an equally likely chance to be included, only the members that fit the pattern will be.

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