What Percentage of our Class is Right or Left Handed?

A Class Experiment
This activity was adapted from one originally written by Cynthia Lanius, Rice University.

Collect the Data:
  1. Using your right hand, see how many times you can write the first letter of your name on a piece of paper in 20 seconds. Your teacher will tell you when to start and stop. Count the number of letters you were able to write.
  2. Repeat, using your left hand.
  3. Call out your data for everyone to copy into the table below.

Name of StudentRight HandLeft Hand Name of StudentRight HandLeft Hand

Graph the Data
  1. Take a piece of quadrille paper and draw two axes. Label one axis “Right Hand” and the other “Left Hand.”
  2. On each axis, number the squares to fit the data.
  3. Plot each point.
  4. Label the Graph. Use an area of the graph where there are no points. Write an appropriate title.
Analyze the Data:
  1. What area of the graph represents right handed people?
    What area of the graph represents left handed people?
  2. Ambidextrous means that a person can write equally well with either hand. Are there any ambidextrous people in the class?
  3. Where on the graph would data from ambidextrous people fall. Draw a line to show where this data would be. Label the line “ambidextrous”. What is the slope of this line?
  4. Are there left handed people in the class? Calculate the percentage of the class that is left-handed? right-handed? Show your work. What is the total percentage for left and right handed students?
  5. Are you right or left footed? Design an experiment that will evaluate your effectiveness with your right or left foot.