Gage M&M

The good folks at Minitab just released a sweet little article about using M&M’s to teach statistics. It’s called Sweetening Statistics and is written by Michelle Paret and Eston Martz.

If you’ve been through traditional classroom Black Belt training you’ve probably already done these exercises yourself as they have been a part of the traditional Black Belt curriculum for years. I sure remember them from my Black Belt training days… Break out a few bags of M&M’s during a moment like thisand the class goes wild.

The article shows how you can use the measurable qualities of M&M’s to teach many statistical tests including: 1-sample t, paired t, proportion, Chi Square, and Correlation. They are even good forteaching Gage R&R. I’d plan on at least on bag per test, M&M’s have a way of disappearing faster than they can be measured…

So the next time one of your friends asks what it is you do for a living, make a party out of it and invite a group over for dessert, then FIRE UP MINITAB!


Comments 1

  1. Kniles

    I once had a student who claimed that M&M color proportions are randomized on a lot basis and could not be attributed to how each bag is filled. One test might be to confirm this theory by testing lot to lot over time.

    I also use M&M’s for SPC and a teamwork / variety of thought exercise that works well. For SPC you either need a lot of M&M’s or create run charts, indiv moving R, etc. For the teamwork exercise, I have individuals compete with teams to come up with SS improvement project ideas as if they were in Marketing … the differences blow everyone away.

    When using M&M’s for gage R&R I like to have at least two teams … one using M&M’s and an accurate gage and one using precision parts and an inaccurate gage so everyone can better see what gage R&R does.

    KN –

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