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Christopher J. Cheng
Graduate Student
Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
North Carolina State University
Packing Pickles: Picking and Performing a Statistical Test 

Based on a true story, this case study was created to teach students how to perform statistical tests and determine whether a significant difference exists between two sets of data. Students are faced with the task of assisting Jeff, the manager of a pickle processing plant, who must figure out why there is a larger-than-expected discrepancy between raw materials and final product. Students are given average sample jar weights from the production line and must come up with a suitable hypothesis and appropriate statistical test. While specifically developed for use in a college-level course on quality control in food science, the case has broader applicability for any course that teaches statistical hypothesis testing (e.g., introductory statistics, research experimental design, scientific inquiry, etc.).