A Probable Situation

Genetics Probability experiment

Background
As you begin your study of genetics, you will learn about probability. Probability is
the possibility or likelihood, that a certain event will take place. In this activity you
will perform some experiments with probability. It comes down to a coin flip model.
When you flip a coin, it will either end up being heads or tails. You have a 50%
probability of predicting the correct outcome.

Materials:
Red Construction Paper

Metric Ruler

Green Construction Paper

2 small paper bags

Scissors

Procedure:
Part A
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

8.

Cut four squares, 6 cm on a side, from a sheet of red construction paper. Do
the same with a sheet of green construction paper.
Crumple each paper square into a small ball. You should have four red balls
and four green balls
Using a marking pen/pencil/pen label one paper BAG 1 and the other, BAG 2
Place two red balls in bag 1 and 2 green balls in bag 2.
Without looking, remove one ball from bag 1. Record the color of the ball in
Data table A next to Trial 1. Put the ball back into the bag.
Repeat step 5 for bag 2
In the Results/Data column of the Data Table, record the colors of the two
balls. Write RR if you removed two red balls, GG for two green balls and RG
for one red and one green
Repeat steps 5 to 7 NINE more times. Record your results for Trials 2 through
10 in the Data Table.

Part B
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Leave the two red balls in Bag 1,m and replace one of the green balls in Bag
2 with a red ball. Shake the bags.
Without looking, remove a ball from Bag 1. Record the color in Data Table B.
Return the ball to bag 1.
Repeat step 2 for Bag 2
Record your results in the Results/Data column of Data Table B
Repeat steps 2 to 4 NINE more times. Record your results for Trials 2 through
10 in the Data Table.

Part C
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Replace one of the red balls in Bag 1 with a green ball. Leave the red and
green ball in Bag 2. Shake the bags
Without looking, remove a ball from Bag 1. Record the color in Data Table C.
Return the ball to bag 1.
Repeat step 2 for Bag 2
Record your results in the Results/Data column of Data Table C
Repeat steps 2 through 4 NINE more times. Record Your results for Trials 2
through 10 in Data Table C

Part D
1.

Leave the red and green balls in Bag 1 and replace the red ball in bag 2 with
a green ball. Shake the bags
2. Without looking, remove a ball from Bag 1. Record the color in Data Table D.
Return the ball to bag 1.

3. Repeat step 2 for Bag 2
4. Record your results in the Results/Data column of Data Table D
5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 NINE more times. Record Your results for Trials 2
through 10 in Data Table D

Analysis and Conclusion
1.

In which Part of the experiment was there only one possible outcome? Why?

2. Which part of the experiment had the most possible outcomes? How many
outcomes?

3. Which parts of the experiment had two possible outcomes that were equally
likely?

4. How many outcomes would be possible if you put two red balls in both bags?
If you put two green balls in both bags? Why?

5. Suppose you were to decide that red is a “Stronger” color than green, so that
every time you get at least one red ball the outcome is considered red.
Which combinations – RR, RG or GG- would be considered red?

6. What would be the only combination that could be considered green?

7. Look over your results for Parts A, B, C, & D. Suppose that red is the
“stronger” color. Add up the number of red outcomes and the number of
green outcomes. Record your results in the following table

Part

Red

Green

A
B
C
D
8. Which parts had no green outcomes? Why?

Total