A Thousand Cranes and Statistics

Cheryl Whitelaw
Renaissance Banff: Mathematics, Music, Art, Culture (2005)
Pages 509–510


The origami crane has become a symbol of peace since stories of Sadako and the thousand cranes have been told after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. How long does it take to make 1000 cranes? I used this topic to bridge my literature unit to a statistics unit in my general education mathematics class. I taught the class how to make a paper crane, then I had the students time themselves while they made another crane. Descriptive statistics can be introduced by using the times measured in class. Inferential statistics can then be introduced by using these times as a sample, and we can estimate how long it would take a person to make 1000 cranes.