University of New Mexico faculty and students are adjusting to a whole new reality of remote learning this semester, and some Lobos are having a little fun with each class project.

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“Half of these projects are group work,” Assistant Professor Andisheh Dadashi said. “Despite all the recent life changes and course transformation, I kept the project unchanged and my students have surpassed any expectation by showcasing how creative and innovative they can be during challenging times.”

Dadashi typically teaches five sections of statistics each semester.

This semester she called one project ‘Cheesy Goldfish,’ using the famous Goldfish snack. Students were tasked with counting nearly 300 pieces, while dviding them up by color and whether they had a smile or not.

“This helped get them familiar with the concept of probability, statistical hypothesis, formulating an analysis plan and testing the dependency of two variables in one population using contingency tables,” Dadashi said.

Dadashi said what seems like a relatively simple task, is in fact teaching students a valuable tool in statistics, one they’ll use in future classes.


“This project was a lot of fun,” Brandon Gutierrez said. “Although time consuming, it really helped me to understand the relationship between two qualitative variables.”

Students said even their siblings and children helped them tackle the project to make sure all 300 pieces were counted and analyzed before their due date.

“My siblings and I first divided the goldfish by color. After we did that, we separated each group into whether or not the Goldfish had smiles,” Caitlin Calles said. "Then we counted each pile, but I had to stop them from eating the goldfish.”