. Grade 6, Illustrative icon

Mean or Median?

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

The goal of this task is to examine advantages and disadvantages of the mean and median for summarizing a given data set. In this case, the mean is distorted by the two 'outliers' and so it does not give us an indication of how fast Bobbie is when she runs well and does not get tripped up going over the hurdles. The median gives us a clearer idea of what time Bobbie can expect if she completes the race cleanly. Her coach is likely interested in both: the mean because it gives an indication of how likely Bobbie is to complete the race cleanly while the median gives a clear idea where Bobbie fits, in terms of her speed, relative to other members on the team.

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