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Accuracy and precision

Play darts – there are regions we want to hit, and regions to avoid:

Or try archery:

Or measuring data on the motion of a car going down a ramp:

We’re trying to get an accurate/true value:

In all of these cases, our targeting doesn’t always hit the mark,
or our measurements are not always accurate.

  • What causes lack of precision?

  • How would we our level of precision to others?

We must note the difference between accuracy and precision.

Learning Standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards
Students will be able to: plan and conduct an investigation, including deciding on the types, amount, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements, and consider limitations on the precision of the data

Science and Engineering Practices: Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error), and/or seek to improve precision and accuracy of data with better technological tools and methods (e.g., multiple trials).

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