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Home > Learning Center > Science Center > Make a Game of Chance

Game to Measure Chance

Once experimenters noticed certain events repeating, they began studying the probability that certain events would occur. In this experiment you'll build an electrical game to study probability.






Materials You WIll Need:

  • Energizer® Power Pack
  • Thumbtacks
  • Bulb holder or alternate bulb holder with bulb
  • Quarter coin
  • 9" X 12" wood board piece
  • 12" box of kitchen foil

Please Read Carefully!

All experiments use safe, low-voltage battery power. Household electrical current contains high voltage that could cause serious injury. DO NOT use household electrical current for any of these experiments. ALL experiments should be conducted under adult supervision.

  • Carefully follow wiring instructions for each experiment. Improper wiring can result in battery leakage and/or rupture.
  • DO NOT take a battery apart. Contact with internal battery material can cause injury.
  • DO NOT dispose in fire, recharge, put in backwards, or mix with used or other battery types. This may cause batteries to explode, leak and cause personal injury.
 

Steps to Make a Game to Measure Chance

  1. Make nine strips of foil 3/4" wide and 7" long. Make two more strips 3/4" wide and 12" long.
  2. Place the 12" strips along the 12" edges of the board and tack ends of strips onto the board.
  3. Place the nine foil strips in a maze pattern 1/2" apart as illustrated, overlapping the base of each to the 12" outer strips. Tack in place.
  4. Assemble bulb holder with wires and bulb as shown. Connect one wire from bulb holder by placing under negative (-) thumbtack on game board. Connect loose wire by placing under positive (+) thumbtack on game board.
  5. Tape respective wires to negative (-) and positive (+) lead wires from your Energizer® Power Pack.
  6. Toss quarter at grid 10 times. How often did the coin cover two aluminum strips and close the circuit lighting the bulb? Keep records of your results. The more times you toss the coin, the better you will become at estimating the probability of the coin closing the circuit.

The grid you built is an open circuit. The coin's position can close the circuit and light the bulb. Try using different size coins and see how the results change.