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11.2: Median

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Have you ever wondered how fast a sled dog can travel?

Alaskan sled dogs travel varying speeds during the Iditarod. These strong, wonderful animals can travel at an average speed of anywhere from 5 to 15 miles per hours.

Here are some speeds from the last Iditarod.

10 mph

12 mph

8 mph

15 mph

9 mph

8 mph

7 mph

12 mph

Given these speeds, what was the median speed on the journey?

To answer this question, you will need to know how to identify and calculate a median. Pay attention and you will learn how to do this in this Concept.

Guidance

Now that you have learned about the mean of a set of data, let’s move on to the median. If you think about the word “median” you can think about the median in a road or street. The median of a street is in the middle of the street. Just like the median of a road, the median of a set of data is the middle value of the set of numbers.

The median is the middle number when the values are arranged in order from the least to the greatest.

Notice that a key to finding the median is that the values must be arranged in order from least to greatest. If they are not arranged in this way, you will not be able to determine an accurate median score!!!

Here is one to work on.

Find the median for the set of data: 47, 56, 51, 45, and 41.

Step 1: Arrange the data values in order from least to greatest.

41, 45, 47, 51, 56

Step 2: Determine the number in the middle of the data set. 47 is the median because it is the data value in the middle of the data set.

The median of the data set is 47.

Median scores are used when analyzing temperature. Take a look.

The chart below depicts the daily temperature in San Diego for the first seven days in August. Determine the median temperature.

Date: Temperature:
Sunday 8/1 88^\circ F
Monday 8/2 83^\circ F
Tuesday 8/3 87^\circ F
Wednesday 8/4 89^\circ F
Thursday 8/5 82^\circ F
Friday 8/6 79^\circ F
Saturday 8/7 87^\circ F

Step 1: Arrange the temperatures in order from least to greatest.

79, 82, 83, 87, 87, 88, 89

Step 2: Determine the data value in the middle of the data set. In this case, 87 is the median temperature.

The answer is 87^\circ F .

Here is a situation about test scores.

Katie’s first four test scores are 75%, 81%, 80%, and 84%. Determine the median of Katie’s test scores.

Step 1: Arrange the test scores in order from least to greatest.

75, 80, 81, 84

Step 2: In this case, there are two data values in the middle of the data set. To find the median, find the average of the two data values. Recall that to find the mean, determine the sum of the numbers and then divide by two.

80 + 81 &= 161\\161 \div 2  &= 80.5

The median of Katie’s test scores is 80.5%.

Sometimes, you will have median scores that are not whole numbers. When this happens, be sure to include the decimal in your answer. This means that the median score is between two whole numbers.

Take a few minutes and write the steps to figuring out the median score down in your notebook.

Find the median score for each data set.

Example A

12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20

Solution: 15.5

Example B

14, 18, 19, 34, 32, 30, 41, 50

Solution: 31

Example C

5, 10, 23, 20, 7, 9, 11, 18, 35, 16, 22

Solution: 16

Here is the original problem once again.

Alaskan sled dogs travel varying speeds during the Iditarod. These strong, wonderful animals can travel at an average speed of anywhere from 5 to 15 miles per hours.

Here are some speeds from the last Iditarod.

10 mph

12 mph

8 mph

15 mph

9 mph

8 mph

7 mph

12 mph

Given these speeds, what was the median speed on the journey?

First, let's write these speeds in order from least to greatest.

7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 12, 12, 15

Now we can find the middle speed. Because there is an even number of speeds, we are looking for a value between 9 and 10.

The median speed is 9.5 mph.

Vocabulary

Here are the vocabulary words in this Concept.

Data
pieces of numerical information collected in a set.
Mean
the average value of a set of data.
Median
the middle value or score of set of data.

Guided Practice

Here is one for you to try on your own.

Find the median.

12, 14, 16, 11, 19, 12, 15, 16, 17, 22, 21

Answer

First, let's write these values in order from least to greatest.

11, 12, 12, 14, 15, 16, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22

The median value is 16.

Video Review

Here is a video for review.

- This is a Khan Academy video on mean, median and mode.

Practice

Directions: Find the median for each set of numbers.

1. 2, 1, 3, 4, 2, 1, 5, 6, 7, 2, 3

2. 11, 12, 17, 18, 21, 12, 13, 13

3. 20, 22, 21, 24, 25, 20, 19

4. 18, 17, 19, 21, 22, 20, 18, 17

5. 19, 29, 39, 49, 59, 69, 79, 89

6. 4, 5, 4, 5, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2

7. 6, 7, 8, 3, 2, 4

8. 11, 10, 9, 13, 14, 16

9. 21, 23, 25, 22, 22, 27

10. 27, 29, 29, 32, 30, 32, 31

11. 34, 35, 34, 37, 38, 39, 39

12. 43, 44, 43, 46, 39, 50

13. 122, 100, 134, 156, 144, 110

14. 224, 222, 220, 222, 224, 224

15. 540, 542, 544, 550, 548, 547

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Difficulty Level:

At Grade

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Date Created:

Dec 21, 2012

Last Modified:

Oct 28, 2014
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