Project Overview
Student Learning Objectives
Content Material
Links to Course Competencies
Supplementary Resources


Earthquakes and the Poisson Distribution


Time: Approximately 50 minutes

Materials: Computer with Microsoft Excel, pencil, calculator, and student worksheet: EarthquakesPoisson.doc.

Prerequisites: Students should

  • have a basic understanding of the Poisson distribution.
  • be able to calculate the mean and standard deviation of a discrete distribution.
  • have basic skills in using Microsoft Excel.
  • be able to navigate the internet.

Implementation: This RWLO can be used either in the classroom as an example to demonstrate the learning objectives, as an in-class activity to test student's comprehension, or provided as a homework assignment. If students work in groups, it is recommended that each student answer the questions.


  1. Do a brief review of the Poisson distribution from the previous lesson.
  2. Print and distribute the student handout EarthquakesPoisson.doc. Students should use the space provided to show their calculations and answers.