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Playing Entropy Mastermind can Foster Children’s Information-Theoretical Intuitions

  • Conceptual descriptions and measures of information and entropy were established in the twentieth century with the emergence of a science of communication and information. Today these concepts have come to pervade modern science and society, and are increasingly being recommended as topics for science and mathematics education. We introduce a set of playful activities aimed at fostering intuitions about entropy and describe a primary school intervention that was conducted according to this plan. Fourth grade schoolchildren (8–10 years) played a version of Entropy Mastermind with jars and colored marbles, in which a hidden code to be deciphered was generated at random from an urn with a known, visually presented probability distribution of marble colors. Children prepared urns according to specified recipes, drew marbles from the urns, generated codes and guessed codes. Despite not being formally instructed in probability or entropy, children were able to estimate and compare the difficulty of different probability distributions used for generating possible codes.

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Author:Elif Özel, Jonathan D. Nelson, Lara Bertram, Laura Martignon
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Education
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2021/06/30
Release Date:2021/12/21
Tag:Shannon‘sche-Entropie; spielbasiertes Lernen
Max-Ent; codebreaking; codemaking; entropy; gamified learning; information; uncertainty
GND Keyword:-
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International