How would you take a large collection of facts and information and organize them in a useful way that will allow for:

  • a quick, facile, and reliable location for each piece of information available,
  • a reliable and accurate view of any relationships which exist between any sets of variables being organized,
  • the capability of predicting an unknown or missing value or piece of information when one knows some closely related values or data?

For the first two classifications below, choose one option and design an efficient system of organization which satisfies the three criteria of organization listed in the opening essential question. For the last classification, try both of the unfamiliar sets of data.

A collection of VCR tapes, a set of stereo cassette recordings, your locker at school, your clothes closet at home, the physical arrangement of all the components of an ideal high school classroom, or the group of students in this class.

The classified advertisements in a large metropolitan newspaper, the stock market quotations from the Wall Street Journal, the foods in a grocery store, the tools and associated items in a hardware store, a set of baseball cards, or the items of a salad bar.

A Model. The “Set of Nine” informational squares, and the “Set of Twenty Elements.”

The first two classifications are easily organized by a variety of criteria, most of which are qualitative and quite subjective. The last classification, however, involves a system of both quantitative and qualitative data. In this last classification it might be easiest to organize the “squares” of the elemental cards into as compact as possible a two- dimensional array that will satisfy the statements of the essential question. The baseball cards could also fit into this type of pattern. To test your organizational pattern, remove one of the cards in the system and see if you can predict the properties of the missing card.

Your group will present and defend your system of organization for the choices from classes I and II and for one of the two items worked on from class III. Your presentation should utilize visuals in some fashion to help others better understand your thoughts concerning systems of organization.

You can use the following scoring rubric to help score your or another group’s exhibition of an organizational system:

  • 18-20: The organizational scheme worked exceptionally well with the provided set of test data proposed by another group. The scheme involved minimal revision of procedures and produced an excellent and well organized product. The final product can now be used to predict effectively missing or future entries that fit into the system of organization.
  • 15-17: The organizational scheme contained only minor flaws and handled the test data in a relatively easy fashion. The scheme produced an acceptable but not exceptional final product.
  • 12-16: The organizational scheme needed some minor revisions, but once adjusted, could handle the test data in an acceptable fashion. The scheme produced an acceptable but not exceptional final product.
  • 9-11: The organizational scheme failed to handle the test data provided by another group despite the fact that the data appeared to be easily understood by the majority of group members.
  • Below 9: The organizational scheme as is, or revised, could not handle the set of test data provided by another group.

–Developed the Brown Summer High School course “Order Out of Disorder” by CES National Faculty members Gil Downs, Colleen Gurley, and Simon Hole.