On Thursday last week, the Marine Farming Association in conjunction with Sanford Limited jumped into a Year 13 Stats class at Marlborough Girls' College to provide a practical statistics workshop - how is statistics used in the work environment.
Matt from Sanford started off by telling the students about two different formats that the green shell mussel is sold in - half shell and powder.
The students were told the optimal size for the half shell market was the medium mussel (85mm - 100mm in length) and that these are processed at the Havelock Factory.
The best mussels for powder are mussels with the highest condition (highest meat to shell ratio, size doesn't matter).
The students were given two plates of mussels - Line A & Line B and were asked the question:
"Which line should go to the Havelock Factory for the half shell market and which line should go to the Enzaq Factory in Riverlands to be made into green shell mussel powder?"
The students started by measuring the length, width and the weight of all their mussels and created a spreadsheet of their data.
The length & width information would be used to ascertain the best line to harvest for half shell processing.
The weight would be held aside for the next step which was cooking the mussels and extracting & weighing the meat. The average total weight of the whole mussel for each line was used divided by the average total weight of the meat to answer the question - which line should go to Enzaq to be made in to powder.
It was an awesome, hands on day which the students seemed to really enjoy (although some thought it was a little yucky).