TinkerPlots Software

Software for dynamic data exploration
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Konold, Cliff

TinkerPlots is a data visualization and modeling tool developed for use by middle school students and published by Key Curriculum.**

TinkerPlots is especially useful for mathematics teachers striving to teach students data analysis in line with recommendations of the NCTM's Curriculum Standards, the Common Core State Standards for Probability and Statistics and to inquiry-based science classrooms where students collect and analyze data as part of formulating and testing their own hypotheses.

New! With the Sampler Engine, students can design and run probability simulations, then plot the results to give a visual representation of the outcomes over many samples. With the Sampler Engine, TinkerPlots expands its focus from data and statistics to incorporate probability.

**As to when TinkerPlots will be available for sale again, See An open letter to the TinkerPlots Community

Here is a review of TinkerPlots.


We start where students are.

Students can begin using Tinkerplots without knowledge of conventional graphs or different data types, without thinking in terms of variables or axes.

By progressively organizing their data,

By ordering, stacking, and separating data icons, students gradually organize data to answer their questions. Students can analyze data that come with the program, that they download from the Internet, or that they enter themselves.

students design their own plots,

Using the construction set of basic operations, students create a wide variety of graphs, including standards like pie charts, histograms, and scatterplots, and novel graphs of their own invention.

transforming one display into another

Because plots are built up in stages, students can deconstruct unfamiliar plots to learn how to interpret them. Students can save the current plot configuration as a new command ("skyline graph") to later recreate that plot type in one step.

in search of group differences and trends.

To perceive variability in data, Tinkerplots offers more than position along axes; it also offers differences in icon size, color, and sound. These additional modalities allow students to detect covariation in powerful and intuitive ways.

What's New in TinkerPlots 2.1

  • Stacked dot plots now include a vertical frequency axis.
  • Referenced lines and dividers can be set either by dragging or by typing in exact values.
  • Percent and number values are no longer obscured by data.
  • Ruler tool allows for collection of additional statistics.
  • Time-series sample data sets are updated.
  • Overall stability is greatly improved.

TinkerPlots 2.1 Download and Update

The most current version of TinkerPlots is 2.1

See TinkerPlots Support if you need help installing, updating or purchasing TinkerPlots

More Information

TinkerPlots is a result of our NSF-funded TinkerPlots project.