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American Statistics Poster Competition: How to Get Involved

1 July 2011 2,067 views One Comment

There are two ways your chapter or group can become part of the American Statistics Poster Competition: (1) sponsor a regional competition or (2) become a site to host judging.

Some Background

Currently, a student who wishes to enter a poster in the competition may enter through a regional competition, if one exists in their area (there is a large part of the United States not currently covered) or send their poster to the national ASA office. Regional competitions judge those entries and advance the top five posters in each grade category to the national judging.

All posters sent to the ASA office are judged as a pseudo-regional competition, in that the top five from each grade category are advanced to the national judging. It is different from a regional in that no prizes are awarded. For largely logistical purposes, the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) has been doing this judging. However, it is now hosting its own regional competition.

How Your Group or Chapter Can Help

It is possible for a chapter or group to gain experience by hosting the judging session for all posters without a regional competition. It requires a contact for the mailing of posters, organizing the posters into age categories, and obtaining a set of judges with time to choose the five best entries. Then, the top posters are mailed to the national judging. Cost would include mailing the posters, but this may be negotiable with the ASA office.

The second possibility is for a chapter to host the national judging. This requires similar work to that described above, but the posters would be coming from the established regional competitions, not from individuals. The award monies and prizes are coordinated by the ASA office; however, there would need to be a training session to ensure judges are consistent in the application of the judging rubric. The national poster chair and joint ASA-NCTM committee are committed to helping make this work. A first step might be to host the judging for the nonregional posters.

Starting a Regional Competition

Plan the competition. When you start a regional competition, there are a few steps that make the effort more successful. Let the national office know so it can coordinate your competition with the national judging and offer advice and assistance. You may contact K–16 Education Manager Rebecca Nichols at rebecca@amstat.org for resources. Also, make sure you have an overall understanding of the time, money, effort, and rewards of starting a competition.

Announce the competition. Make sure your deadlines, rules, and rubrics are aligned with the national competition. Decide on your prizes and funding strategy so you can announce them in the competition brochure. Design a competition brochure, which should include a deadline, prize awards, and rules. Decide how to get these brochures into teachers’ hands (not a trivial task). This may mean purchasing mailing lists or cooperating with other associations. It is nice to use and promote a judging rubric so entrants know what to aim toward. Registration will be online through the ASA office, so it is important that you are in contact with them.

Promote the competition. Try to make people available for classroom talks. Send announcements to local NCTM and school contacts. You might consider going through colleges or schools of education within a university. Encourage chapter/group members to promote to schools and with their children’s schools. Send out brochures and announcements. Advertising in a newspaper may be costly, but there might be alternatives, such as cable public service announcements.

As the entries come in. Ensure that each poster has a registration form attached. Separate posters into the four age categories. Be prepared for many to arrive in the last days before the deadline. Decide who can be a judge. They might come from academia, industry, or government or be AP Statistics teachers, math teachers, chapter members, and/or graduate statistics students.

Secure judges and a judging day. It is best to plan for the judging to be a week after the deadline in case there are any stragglers (you decide when late is too late). Plan for a full day of judging. You may need to have a training session for judges.

Judging day. Judge the competition using the appropriate rubric. Forward the top five entries in each grade level to the national competition.

Awards and wrap-up. You need to announce the winners. Making presentations to winners is a nice sign of respect for the students and their work. Many presentations are made during award ceremonies. Please be available to facilitate presentations for national awards if possible.

While the judging is fresh in your mind, consider writing a review of the competition to send to all the teachers who participated. Decide if it is feasible to return posters to nonwinners. Certainly, this keeps schools engaged. Posters of national winners are not returned.

Finally, revise your process and get busy for the next year.

If you have questions, contact Nichols at rebecca@amstat.org or Linda Quinn at l.quinn@csuohio.edu.

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