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Elena Hubner

AP Statistics
Period. 7
2/11/15
The Confidence Interval Mini-Project

What percent of upperclassmen at


Austin High School drive themselves
to school?

During the past few years, Austin, Texas, has experienced


tremendous population growth from the vast number of people who
move here daily. As a result, buildings are getting taller, neighborhoods
are expanding, and roads are slowly getting more and more congested.
It seems that no matter where you go, if you are driving in Austin at 8
AM or 5 PM, you are guaranteed to sit in a long line of traffic. As a high
school student and a driver who has experienced the frustration of
sitting in morning traffic while driving to school, I became curious
about the number of people who I go to school with who also feel my
frustration. In order to find out, I asked a simple random sample of
juniors and seniors at Austin High School whether or not they drive
themselves to school every morning using either their own car or a car
their parents have provided for them. My goal was to find the
proportion of upperclassmen who drive themselves to school and then
use my data to create multiple confidence intervals.
My first step in finding out the proportion of student drivers at
Austin High was to select a population from which I could generate a
simple random sample. I decided to make my population all juniors and
seniors, or upperclassmen at Austin High, since the majority of
upperclassmen are over the age of sixteen, the legal age to have a
drivers license. However, because there may be some upperclassmen
who have yet to turn 16, this sample may not be completely

representative of the entire population, since some may not be legally


eligible to drive.
After establishing my population, I generated my simple random
sample. Using a list of all students enrolled at Austin High, I isolated all
the juniors and seniors in a numbered list. Next, I used the random
number generator on my calculator to select 44 out of the 974
upperclassmen to survey. After tracking them down, I asked them
whether or not they drive themselves to school every morning using
either their own car or a car their parents have provided for them, I
calculated the proportion of those who answered yes and those who
answered no.
Once I obtained my data, I found that the sample proportion of
driving upperclassmen was .48. Using this proportion, I generated
three different confidence intervals, 90%, 95%, and 99%. I determined
that the 90% confidence interval was (.32969, .62486), meaning that I
am 90% confident that the true proportion of upperclassmen who are
drivers at Austin High is between .32969 and .62486. Next, I
determined the 95% confidence interval to be (.3085, .64605),
meaning that I am 95% confident that the true proportion of
upperclassmen who are drivers at Austin High is between .3085 and .
64605. Lastly, I determined that that the 99% confidence interval was
(.2659, .68864), meaning that I am 99% confident that the true

proportion of upperclassmen who are drivers at Austin High is


between .2659 and .68864.
After collecting my data and determining multiple confidence
intervals for it, I think it is very likely that these intervals do in fact
contain the true population proportion of upperclassmen who drive
themselves to school everyday. I thought it was interesting that the
data I collected showed that the sample proportion of driving
upperclassmen was .48, which is so close to half of the sample.
However, if I were to try this project again, I would generate sampling
from all Austin High School students in order to find the confidence
interval containing the true population proportion of all student drivers
at Austin High, not just the upperclassmen.
Appendix A

Appendix B