Growth and Decay

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Lauren Seymour- Growth and Decay


For the growth part of this lab, we started with 4 M&M’s in the cup. We shook the cup and poured the M&M’s onto a napkin. Then, we counted the number of M&M’s that had the “M” facing up. Next we added a new M&M for each one that was facing up and continued this process until all of our M&Ms were used (11 trials). For the decay section of this lab we began with a full cup of M&Ms. We shook the cup and poured all of the M&M’s onto a napkin. Then we counted all of the M&M’s with the “M” facing up and removed them. We repeated this process until there was only one M&M left. After collecting the data we entered the data into a spreadsheet on our calculators to make a scatter plot and analyze the data. Lastly we altered the data to make it linear because it was exponential.


This lab forced me to learn how to alter exponential data to make it linear. Although we did it before in class I didn’t really understand it until we used it with a hands on activity. I now understand that to change it, you input the data into column a and column b, take the log of column b in column c, and then graph a vs c. It also helped me learn how to prove that data is exponential. Although with this lab it was obvious because the numbers of M&M’s either dramatically grew or dramatically decayed, we know its exponential by looking at the residuals plot. If the residuals are random the data is linear and if the residuals are in a pattern then they are exponential.
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