Q8 Whiskers

13. Dig the Data


In this Quest you will analyze information to determine the best cell phone plan for six relatives, or members of a household, based on data for their different ages (teenager under 18, 20, 43, 46, 63, and 66 years old). This is different than the activity in Quest Two. In this Quest you will use Box and Whiskers graphs to help analyze the data to make your recommendation. Being able to find, organize, and analyze data is an important skill you are likely to use for future employment and for courses you take. You may have some opinions or ideas on the best cell plan, but a Box and Whiskers plot will give you a fresh way to look at the plans. 

Your task is to make a recommendation on how many voice minutes and text messages should be included in a family plan to meet the most needs. It is likely that not everyone will get what they want and compromises will need to be made. The data you will be using is based on national statistics by age group.

We recommend working with a partner as you do this Quest.

Here is a downloadable copy of this
13. DigtheDataQuestWhiskers.pdf

Key Vocabulary

Median: Median is the middle number (in a sorted list of numbers).

Quartile: Quartile are the values that divide a list of numbers into quarters.

Data: Data is facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

Box and Whiskers plot: Box and Whiskers plot is a graphic way to display the median, quartiles, and extremes of a data set on a number line to show the distribution of the data.

I Can Statements

  • analyze data and create different visual representations of it
  • create a box and whiskers plot to represent data


1. Click this link and watch a tutorial from brainingcamp on Box and Whiskers plots. (Full URL http://www.brainingcamp.com/resources/math/box-plots/lesson.php)

Steps 2-5: Whiskers documents

2. Download and open this Whiskers data spreadsheet (xls file), or open and make a copy of this version in Google Drive .

3. Download one of the number line documents provided here ( Number line.pdf , or this version in Word doc.) to use for your plots in step four. [If you have Microsoft Excel 2016 you can use these directions from Microsoft]

4. With a partner (or on your own), create two separate Box and Whisker Plots.  Create one plot using the data for voice, and a separate plot for text message data on the provided number line.

5. Check your plots by entering your voice data and then text message data into this interactive site (mathwarehouse). Take a screen shot of each of the plots created using the mathwarehouse site. ( Full URL https://www.meta-chart.com/box-and-whisker) 

Steps 6-7: Analysis and Recommendation

6. Copy and paste the following questions into your document, discuss them with your partner and then answer them in your document.

  • How do the online plots compare to the ones you created on the number lines?

  • Why might they look different? 

  • Do they give you the same information? Why or why not?

  • What does the median tell you about the data collected?

  • Why are Quartile One and Quartile Three important? 

  • Which was more difficult to decide on: Voice minutes or text messages? Why?

7. Time for your recommendation. This will be completed in three steps.

  • You and your partner decide on how many minutes your family should purchase and how many text messages your family can purchase. Be prepared to defend your answer. Use your data plots and keep in mind that not everyone may have all of the voice minutes they are used to using, or all of the text messages they are used to having!
  • When you are prepared with a reasonable plan for your family, defend your solution to two other groups. After discussion with two other groups, write a paragraph which will serve as a sales pitch for your recommendation, using terms such as median, quartile, and data.
  • Create an advertisement using a media resource (video, audio, presentation tool)  which will get your message across, be informative, and use one or more of your screenshots to help convince the audience that you have the best plan for this family unit.

8. Pitch your recommendation to your class for a vote, being prepared to defend it based on the data. Good luck, may the whiskers be with you! 

Completing this Quest

Turn in your presentation with supporting documentation (screen shots and answers to the questions). Check with your teacher to find out how he/she wants you to share your work with them.

 Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

 Go to Quest 9, Changes Over Time

13.Q8.Student Checklist

Quizlet- Whiskers Quiz

Please note: special Teacher directions are available in the Teacher Resources for this activity.

Websites and Applications

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

5. Computational Thinker
a. Formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions
b. Collect data or identify relevant data sets
c. Break problems into component parts, extract key information

6. Creative Communicator
a. Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations
b. Communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations
d. Publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for a variety of audiences.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD, .B, B2 Measurement and Data. Create a line plot to display a data set...

CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP, A, A3, AB, B5, B5c Statistics and Probability. Develop understanding of statistical variability.

CCSS MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

CCSS MP4 Model with mathematics