AP Stats Field Trip to Laserland

Janet Song, Social Media Manager

Shooting at friends with lasers in the dark may not seem like your typical math lesson at Ward Melville, but last Friday, students in AP Statistics did just that.


The trip, organized by Mrs. O’Brien and Mrs. Rey, gave students an opportunity to hang out with friends over rounds of laser tag, while collecting data for them to later interpret for an upcoming portfolio project. Students who went were able to grasp a unique learning experience with a little bit of fun outside of the classroom.


Days later, juniors David Cutting and Ryan Qin sit next to each other at the library, still reminiscing over how exciting the field trip was. David sits back and remarks, “Laserland was an excellent opportunity to hang out with friends and have fun while collecting data that I hope will make the course as a whole feel much more relevant for the rest of the year as we analyze and learn from it.”


Over a pile of unfinished homework, Ryan raises an eyebrow. “I played like four games [of Laser tag], I think?”


While Laserland is a highly anticipated trip, it’s not the core of AP Statistics. For David, who plans on pursuing an engineering major, Statistics was a suitable course in the STEM area. “AP Biology or AP Chemistry looked interesting,” he admits. “But [they] might have put me in over my head on top of six other AP exams this year.”


Junior year, he confesses, has a lot packed for him. David told Kaleidoscope that he is already booked on Multivariable Calculus and plans on self studying AP Computer Science.


Unlike David, Ryan sees AP Statistics in fields important outside of STEM. “It’s helpful if you’re going into, I don’t know, business or economics. Not much math involved, so it’s kind of like that.”


David agrees to an extent. “I’d almost say statistics is like English and Math put into one class,” he comments. “I can’t quite call it math though because, as Mr. Tam puts it, ‘Mathematicians hate to write.’”


Both students see AP Statistics as a class like no other, and this field trip further developed their interests in mathematics. But this trip wouldn’t have been possible, David notes, without the help of chaperones like Mr. Chacon, Mr. Pelosi, and Mr. Ambrose.


Ryan frowns when David mentions their names.


“The chaperones,” David reminds him. “Chacon was there.”


“Oh right,” Ryan says. “Chacon was there.”


He sits over his pile of homework, drumming the pencil to an offbeat, as he tries to elaborate more on the course and field trip. “Would you say you enjoyed the trip?” he’s asked.


Not looking up, Ryan briefly replies, “Pretty much.” And then he goes back to finishing his statistics homework .