Runnels students run parking lot experiment _lowres

Photo provided by Wendy Milam -- Runnels School AP statistics students, from left, Drake Fromenthal, Kelsey Mayes and Madison Whitworth, measure the distance from the tire to the white line and record the information to use for tallying the parking score.

Runnels School Advanced Placement statistics students recently spent several class periods in the school parking lot working on an observational study to determine whether teachers or students are better parkers.

The students selected 24 student cars and 24 teacher cars in the main campus parking lot for the study.

Parking scores were determined by measuring the distance from the parking lines to each tire. The difference between the side wheels (on both sides), the rear wheels and the front wheels was calculated and then added together to determine the parking score. The lower the number, the better the parking score, a news release said.

Students judged “good parking” to mean that a car was straight and centered in a parking spot, AP statistics teacher Karen Matthews said. One class added a penalty if a car’s bumper extended over the front of a parking space, while the other class added penalty points if a car sprawled over a side line, the release said.

Matthews said less than one point separated the teachers from the students, with the teachers just edging out the students. The result was declared a tie because there was no statistically significant difference between the scores.

In the two previous years, the students were declared the winners.