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How Risky Is Life?

In this activity, students explore the miss-match between real and perceived risk by exploring the risks of dying unexpectedly from various causes. Starting from known fears and comparing them with real-life data, students can recognise that these fears are often unfounded. Students have the opportunity to learn how to calculate the risks involved for various activities and how these are related to the base risk of death for typical people of different ages and genders. The emphasis is on order-of-magnitude comparisons, reflecting the various kinds of variation in risk level between individuals and over time. The activity is designed to enable students to learn that life is risky, but not very. That, for people in our society, the probability of any unexpected death to them or their loved ones is tiny, but not zero; and that life decisions need to balance risk against benefits, based on evidence. In completing this activity students will use rational numbers, their properties and their different representations, ratio and proportion, accuracy and rounding applying the handling data cycle, using measures of central tendency and spread and experimental and theoretical probabilities. In addition, students are offered opportunities to interpret very large and very small numbers, use appropriate orders of magnitude, and use a range of representations including tables and graphs of data, probabilities and distributions and to explore random variation and statistical inference from data. To use this resource: • download the zip file • extract all of the files • run the start file

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