Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Statistical Questions

What makes a question a statistical question? Furthermore, what makes a good statistical question?

The Common Core State Standards (6.SP.A.1) describes it like this:
... one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers. For example, “How old am I?” is not a statistical question, but “How old are the students in my school?” is a statistical question because one anticipates variability in students’ ages.
This statistics standard is slated for 6th grade students1, but I recently heard a more effective explanation of what a statistical question is that will be relevant for middle school, high school, and college statistics. It also defines what makes a statistical question a good one, which the Common Core definition does not.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

ASA's Prediction 2016 Contest

The American Statistical Association has a challenge for stats-savvy students: predict* the next U.S. president!

Prediction* 2016 is a contest for high school and undergraduate college students to predict* the winner of the U.S. presidential election using statistical methods. Winners will receive a variety of prizes and perks, including exposure to the nation’s leading statisticians and data scientists.