What's the Difference Between Accuracy and Precision?

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While often used interchangeably, the distinction between accuracy and precision is critical for many scientific endeavors. Discover the importance of consistency for precise results, and the need for accuracy in the field of research, engineering, and space travel.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • This is an excellent way to prompt discussion and analysis of how NASA determines where their probes will touch down on other planets
  • As part of an extension or follow-up assignment, have pupils research modern equipment and procedures that are dependent upon accuracy and/or precision, such as tools used in surgery or a research lab
Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • Engaging, animated video
  • Illustrates concept with easy-to-understand metaphors, such as the bow and arrow of William Tell
  • Customize online assessment, additional materials, and discussion prompts
Cons
  • None