Cynthia Lanius

What Percentage of your Class is

Right or Left Handed?

A Data Collection and Analysis Class Experiment

Collect the Data

For 20 seconds, have students using their right hands, put the first letter of their last name in each square on a piece of square grid paper. Then after the 20 seconds is up, have them do the same thing using their left hands. Now have them count and record the number of letters that they were able to put using each of their hands.

Organize the Data

Record the data in the table below for the whole class.

        Name of Student        Number of Letters (Right)
Number of Letters (Left)


Graph the Data

Make a first-quadrant graph of the data by plotting the above points, letting the x axis represent the number of right-handed letters and the y axis represent the number of left-handed letters.

Analyze the Data

  1. Draw the Ambidextrous Line, y=x and explain why I'm calling it by that name.

  2. What do the points above the line represent? Below the line?

  3. Explain the significance of points being near the line?

  4. What percentage of your class is left-handed?

Research Question

See if you can find out what percentage of the population is left-handed.

Optional: Use Technology

Use a spread sheet to record and graph the data.


Are you right or left footed? Design an experiment that will evaluate your effectiveness with your right or left foot. (Maybe count how many times you can jump on one foot without falling.) Graph the data as before. Try to find correlation between the data sets to evaluate whether right-handed people also tend to be right-footed.

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