Illustration of three fireworks. Text, "Statistics"


CCSS: 6.SP.B.5, 7.SP.A.2, MP1, MP3, MP5

TEKS: 6.12C, 6.12D, 7.6G, 7.12B

Countdown to 2023!

People ring in the New Year in many different ways. For more than 100 years, people in the United States have stayed up until the stroke of midnight to watch the ball drop in New York City’s Times Square. About
1 million people gather there each year to see the spectacle in person, while more than 1 billion people around the world watch on their televisions at home.

The tradition began in 1907 when Adolph Ochs, the owner of The New York Times, came up with the idea to slowly lower a lighted ball from the flagpole on the roof of the newspaper’s headquarters. This first ball was made of wood, iron, and incandescent light bulbs. Since then, the ball has been updated six times! It got a big upgrade in 2007 to celebrate the ball drop’s 100th anniversary. That included the addition of triangular crystal panels that are lit by LED bulbs. These bulbs shine brightly but don’t need to heat up to produce light, which means they use less electricity.

In other cities around the world, such as Sydney, Australia, and London, England, people watch fireworks displays and hold their own ball drop inspired by the one in New York City. Other places celebrate with special foods, such as soba noodles in Japan, tamales in Mexico, or eating 12 grapes in Spain—one for each month of the new year. And in parts of Europe, North America, and more, swimmers take traditional New Year’s Day dips in frigid seas!

Times Square on New Year's Eve

Answer the following questions using the information in the infographic and graphs above. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

How many years after the New Year’s Eve ball’s debut were the lights switched to LEDs?

A. 88

B. 92

C. 100

D. 110

What’s the median weight of the New Year’s balls through the years?

A. 400 lb

B. 700 lb

C. 1,070 lb

D. 11,875 lb

What percent of 2022 survey respondents resolved to spend more time with friends and family?

A. 17%

B. 24%

C. 48%

D. 57%

For how many years could each LED light on the ball stay lit if it were left on all the time?

A. 3.4 years

B. 11.1 years

C. 50.3 years

D. 82.2 years

What’s the perimeter of the smallest Waterford crystal triangle on the New Year’s Eve ball?

A. 4 in.

B. 14 in.

C. 14 in.

D. 17 in.

Which 2022 New Year’s resolution did about 3,435 survey takers choose?

A. Watch less TV

B. Volunteer

C. Eat more healthy food

D. Focus on mental health

About how many more people surveyed said they want to learn a new skill or hobby than said they want to volunteer?

What was the volume of the 2007 Times Square ball? Hint: Volume of a sphere = 4/3(pi)r3

What was the percent increase in the New Year’s ball’s weight from 1907 to 2008?

Poll your class on which resolution from the graph they would choose for 2023, and make a graph of the results. Then vote at to compare with other students nationwide!

What does your class think?

Which of the following New Year’s resolutions would you choose for 2023?

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Which of the following New Year’s resolutions would you choose for 2023?

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Which of the following New Year’s resolutions would you choose for 2023?

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Skills Sheets (2)
Skills Sheets (2)