PUBLIC STATISTICS DAY 1998

Roxy Peck
California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 4, Number 2 (Summer 1998)


Dear ASA, Thank you for a fun field trip. I really enjoyed the cookie and the juice. I had so much fun putting the eyedrop on the penny and counting the M&M's--red, yellow--and the thing that I like the most is "The Planet Earth and Us". I hope we can come back soon. I was so surprised. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. From, Ha Ngayne.

"It was a great pleasure participating in the statistics workshop. My children were mesmerized by the whole experience... We followed up in our classroom with charting and writing about all we learned. The statistics provided us with interesting topics for discussion among my third graders. My children are bilingual and welcome the opportunity to gain new vocabulary in English. There were many surprises in the discoveries they made about measuring and probability..." Linda Pogue (third grade teacher)

The above letters are just two of many that were received by ASA after the 1997 Public Statistics Day in Anaheim. Public Statistics Day 1997 was a great success thanks to dedicated volunteers who made learning statistical concepts fun for 135 Anaheim school kids. Conceived and implemented by Cathy Crocker and Sue Kulesher of the ASA staff, Public Statistics Day is designed to promote the public image of the discipline and to allow statisticians to share their enthusiasm for statistics with children from kindergarten through middle school. The program is coordinated with the Joint Statistical Meetings, and planning is now underway for this year's event, which will be held on Friday August 14 in conjunction with the Joint Statistical Meetings.

The objective of the day is for students to have fun with statistics while at the same time learning from the day's experiences. Each student participates in three sessions, which are designed to be activity-based and highly interactive. Last year some great sessions were delivered. Kindergartners made stem-and-leaf displays with stickers and jumped in the Marriott hallways to collect data to help them decide if taller kids can jump farther than shorter kids. Third graders conducted an experiment to see if the number of drops of water that can fit on a penny depends on whether there is dish soap in the water. Fifth graders conducted a survey of shopping preferences. Groups of middle school kids took off for the Marriott lobby to attempt census counts. These are just a sample of the sessions that filled the morning.

This year, we hope to build on the success of last year's program and to also expand our group of volunteers. If you would like to become involved, contact Roxy Peck by e-mail at rpeck@calpoly.edu or by phone at (805) 756-2971.


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