Spreadsheet Lab #1 - "Percents"

We are going to use the spreadsheet to interpret the information you created from your M&M data. By using the spreadsheet, you will be able to make a graph of your information. You also will be able to calculate the color percentages with the spreadsheet.

To open the spreadsheet:

1) Click on the apple that is on the far left hand side of your screen. Drag down to the program called Symantec Greatworks. You should get a diamond shape to come up. If not, check the right hand corner of the screen. If you see a diamond shape, then the program is running. You will have to go to File, and drag your mouse to New to get the diamond to come up.

2) We want to open up the spreadsheet. If you look at your diamond, you will see a smaller diamond on the far left of the big diamond - this diamond has the appearance of a big rectangle with little rectangles inside. Click on that diamond and select New. If you don't see New, click on OK. This is the spreadsheet.

3) You should see a spreadsheet on the screen at this point. Try clicking on one of the boxes with your mouse. Look in the upper left hand corner. You should see a letter and a number. Click on different boxes with your mouse and watch how the letters and numbers change. Why are they changing? Describe below what is happening.

4) The letter and number tell the location of the box, or cell, that you have selected. We are going to use the spreadsheet to enter the information that you gathered from your M&M's. Click on cell A1. In this cell, and the cells below, we are going to enter all the colors of M&M's. In cell A1, type in the word brown. You will see the word brown in the row directly below the title. When you press return what happens? In cell A2, type in the word red and press return. Enter the remaining colors in cells A3 - A6.

5) In cells B1 - B6, you are going to enter the number of M&M's that you had in your pack for each category. For example, if you had 3 brown M&M's, then you will enter the number 3 in cell B1 and press enter. Do this for the remaining colors.

To graph the data:

We are now going to use the information from the spreadsheet to create a graph of our data.

6) We want to take the information and tell the computer to graph it. We first have to highlight all of the information that you have entered. Do this by clicking on cell A1 and dragging down and across to cell B6.

7) We are going to have to go back to the Greatworks menu. Make sure your cells are still highlighted and click on File, then New. This time we are going to open up the Graph menu. This is the diamond directly below the spreadsheet menu. (It looks like a bar graph.) Click on that diamond and then click on OK. What happens? Describe below.

8) Wait a minute. Look at what kind of graph you have on the screen. What is it telling you? Compare your screen with your neighbors. Is it different? The same? Explain why or why not.

9) Now see what happens when we look at other graphs. Go to Format then to Chart. Click on the sideways bar graph, then click on OK. How does that graph differ from the first one? Describe below.

10) Now see what happens when you try another graph. Go to Format then to Chart. Click on the circle graph, or pie graph, then click on OK. How does that graph differ from the first one? Describe below.

11) Try looking at some other graphs using the commands above. Which did you like the most?

To convert your information on your spreadsheet to percentages:

We want to convert your information We want to find the percentages of each color of your M&M's you have in your bag. We are going to use the spreadsheet and have the computer perform the operations.

12) Go back to the spreadsheet by clicking on Window and selecting the Untitled spreadsheet. You should see your original spreadsheet.

13) In cells, C1 - C6, we are going to enter the information that will give us the percents. However, we need to create a total number of M&M's by having the computer add up the totals of colors for us. We do this by going to cell B7 and entering:

=B1+B2+B3+B4+B5+B6 or by entering =SUM(B1:B6). Either of these functions will give us the desired information. Press return. You should see in cell B7 the total you calculated before.

14) Now, we are going to let the computer do most of the work for us. In cell C1, you will enter B1/B7, the ratio of that color to the total number of M&M's. Repeat the same in cell C2, but use B2/B7. Repeat this for all changing only the numerator of your ratio. You will do this and stop after you enter the information into cell C6.

15) You should see the decimal equivalents for the ratios you entered. We can use the computer to convert those decimals to percents. To do this you will need to highlight cells C1 - C6. Next you will go to TEXT, drag down to FORMAT (without letting go of the mouse), go over to PERCENT, and finally release the mouse. You should see the percentages that you calculated earlier. Write down those percentages from your spreadsheet below:

BROWN _________



GREEN ________


BLUE _________

16) Are these the same percentages you calculated earlier? If not, what happened? Check for errors on your original worksheet and also check for errors on the spreadsheet.

17) What are some other applications for the spreadsheet? List about three or four. How could you use the spreadsheet to make some aspect of your life a little easier? Explain below.