Statistics: Steppin' Out

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In this math lesson, learners construct box-and-whisker plots to analyze and compare data sets. Learners investigate whether or not long-legged people run faster than short-legged people. Learners measure the length of their legs and time how long it takes them to run a specified distance. They organize the data they collect into a human box-and-whisker plot.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Meter sticks or tape measures
  • One roll of cash register tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Index cards
  • Track or area where learners can run (approximately 60 yards)
  • Stopwatch
  • Tag board labeled: Upper Extreme, Lower Extreme, Upper Quartile, Lower Quartile, Median, and Outliers
  • Laptop computer (optional)
  • Computer graphing program such as Statistics Workshop by Sunburst (optional)
  • Printer (optional)
  • 1 Transparency per group (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
      • Probability
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
    • Number and Operations
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, PBS, 2012

Funding Source:

  • US Department of Education