Calculating Chances

Over the course of a game of Monopoly, how likely is it that you would end up in jail? As part of our ongoing STEM Speaker Series today SLS Fifth Grade students had the opportunity to learn how to compute the answer to that and similar questions from Mr. Mike Blasi, retired National Security Agency employee. Mr. Blasi is a member of the NSA Speakers Bureau, serves as a guide at the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade. Mr. Blasi was assisted by his daughter, Laura former SLS student. SLS students learned about real-world applications of probability and random processes. They learned how to form a hypothesis and test it using the scientific method. To make these concepts more relatable, Mr. Blasi discussed how dice and coin flips can affect outcomes in games like Monopoly, Risk, and Yahtzee. We want to thank Mr. Blasi for taking time out of his day and coming to SLS to provide a better understanding of probability, statistics and why they will almost assuredly not win the lottery. Stay tuned as we continue our STEM Speaker Series in the coming weeks.