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Migrant Crisis

The article, Obama Increases Number of Syrian Refugees for U.S. Resettlement to 10,000, is filled with comparisons of different countries’ responses to the migrant crisis.  This provides  an excellent opportunity to practice putting statistics into context by making meaningful comparisons, ratios!  I ask my students to submit questions and answers that they create after reading the article, and for this article many of them were not careful in discriminating between which refugees they were referring to or at what time period.

Careful reading is such an important part of the critical thinking process.  These articles and quizzes provide our students with practice in developing these skills.  Here is my take home quiz, I really like question #2 about the visual ratio found in the graphic:

  Q3 Refugees

  1. The article, Obama Increases Number of Syrian Refugees for U.S. Resettlement to 10,000, is filled with comparisons of different countries’ responses to the migrant crisis.
    1. Put the 10,000 number in the title into context by making a meaningful comparison (i.e. ratio) with another statistic, and using the ratio in a sentence.
    2. Why does Senator John McCain blame the Obama administration for the Syrian refugee crisis?
    3. Compute the ratio of the number of refugees referred to the U.S. from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to the 7 million Syrians displaced by war so far, and scale the 2nd quantity to 100.
  1. The graphic below compares the 160,000 migrants in Greece and Italy approved for relocation with the 549,000 that have arrived in Greece, Italy, and Hungary this year. The squares are meant to be a visual ratio.
    1. Compute the ratio of 160,000 to 549,000 and scale the first quantity to one.

      migrant ratio

    2. Are the sides of the squares in this ratio from part a or the areas of the squares? Do you think the creators of the graphic made the right choice?  Explain!
  1. In DLS Joel Best discusses organizational practices and how choices must be made that affect the statistics computed.
    1. Give 1 specific example of such a choice and the statistic that would be affected.
  1. Joel Best discusses how big numbers confuse people.
    1. Compute how long 1 thousand seconds is in minutes.
    2. Compute how long 1 million seconds is in days.
    3. Compute how long 1 billion seconds is in years.
    4. Compute how long 1 trillion seconds is in years.
    5. Complete the following analogy: A penny is to $10,000 as _________ is to $1 trillion. The value you just put in the blank is like a penny to the U.S. government’s budget.
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