High-Schooler Captures Top Prize in Statistics2013 Video Contest
Jeffrey A. Myers, ASA Public Relations Coordinator
For Jason T. Girouard, the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013) has turned out to be a pretty darn sweet, not to mention enriching, experience.
Girouard claimed the top honor—the Best Overall Video—in the recently completed Statistics2013 Video Contest, and his production also was awarded first place in the Best Video by a Person or Persons 18 Years of Age or Less category, giving him top billing in two of the competition’s three categories.
Not too bad for the 18-year-old high-school student from Brimfield, Massachusetts, who was only 17 when he entered the contest earlier this year.
Sponsored by Wiley Publishers, the video contest was organized by the Statistics2013 Steering Committee to encourage people around the world to think about statistics and its effect on their daily life.
Each entry was required to be no longer than four minutes in length and to illustrate the following criteria:
- How statistics affects individual lives, improves society, or makes the world a better place in general
- How statistical thinking can be brought to bear on important issues of our day
- Interesting careers in statistics
Entries in each of the contest’s categories, which had to be submitted by February 28, were judged on statistical content and entertainment value. The contest’s three award categories were the following:
- Best Overall Video
- Best Video by a Person or Persons 18 Years of Age or Less
- Best Non-English Language Video
Wiley provided cash prizes for the top three videos in each category, with the largest monetary prize awarded to the Best Overall Video.
In all, 59 videos from numerous countries were entered. Judging was tough, and the international panel of judges found it difficult to select the top videos in each category.
“The quality and diversity of the 59 entries made choosing the best videos a challenging task. In the end, I feel strongly that the decisions of the judges captured the spirit of the contest, which encompasses the impact of statistics, the importance of statistics, and careers in statistics,” said Thomas Short, chair of the video contest’s review committee and statistics professor at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. “On behalf of the international panel of judges, I say thank you to all who entered the contest and pass on our collective congratulations to the winners!”
The statisticians who served as the contest judges were Hans Hockey, New Zealand; Donna LaLonde, United States; Olga Obraztsova, Russia; Christopher Olsen, United States; Danvers Omolo, Kenya; Ernesto Sánchez, México; Theresa Utlaut, United States; Geert Verbeke, Belgium; and Christopher Wild, New Zealand.
While reviewing the videos, the judges felt Girouard’s production best conveyed the most important messages about statistics and best met the contest’s criteria: its impact and importance as well as the career opportunities in this increasingly important scientific field.
For his work on his appropriately titled production, “The Importance of Statistics,” Girouard took home first place in the Best Overall Video and Best Video by a Person or Persons 18 Years of Age or Less categories.
“It feels fantastic to be the top winner! I spent so much time making my video, and I’m thrilled that others liked how it came out as much as I did,” said Girouard following his achievement.
He entered the Statistics2013-organized contest after learning about it online at Onlinevideocontests.com.
Girouard credits the probability and statistics honors class he is taking at Tantasqua Regional High School and the teacher of the course for motivating him to enter the contest and his success. “My teacher, Mr. [Chuck] Hamparian, has gotten me much more interested in numbers and statistics than I ever thought I would be.
“As soon as I saw the contest online, I knew I had to enter it to try to share all that I’ve learned from Mr. Hamparian. In the end of my video, I used a quote that Mr. Hamparian always says, ‘The patterns in numbers give statisticians the ability to predict the future’, which I think is very true,” he explained.
Girouard said that working on his winning video was a learning experience, as well. “The biggest thing I learned while making my video was how much of a real-world application there is for statistics,” he explained. “There are so many careers, in so many fields, with such a vast range of applications. Numbers truly do give you the ability to predict the future, and I hope I can help people realize that through my video.”
As the Statistics2013 Video Contest’s top winner, Girouard was awarded a total of $1,500—$500 for winning the Best Video by a Person or Persons 18 Years of Age or Less category and $1,000 for taking home the title of Best Overall Video.
Best Non-English Language Video
The only category Girouard didn’t win was the Best Non-English Language Video. That honor was awarded to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office for its production, “That Is What We Are.”
You can view all 59 videos entered into the contest at the Statistics2013 website.
Girouard, who will be a business management major at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst this fall, plans to use his prize money for college-related expenses. “The money will really help me out for college,” he says. “I’ll be using it to buy a nice laptop and some other miscellaneous college materials. It’s a huge help!”
Statistics2013 Says Thanks!
Ronald L. Wasserstein, ASA executive director and a member of the Statistics2013 Steering Committee, passed on the organizing group’s congratulations to Girouard and all the winners and relayed appreciation to all contest entrants.
“My colleagues on the Statistics2013 Steering Committee and I offer a hearty congratulations to Mr. Girouard and all the contest winners for their excellent videos and thank everyone who participated in the contest,” said Wasserstein. “We greatly appreciate everyone for supporting the International Year of Statistics. All the videos entered into the Statistics2013 Video Contest will help foster better understanding of the myriad contributions statistical science and statisticians make to improve our world.”
Statistics2013 Video Contest Winners
A total of 59 videos from numerous countries were entered into the Statistics2013 Video Contest. Following is a list of the first-place through honorable-mention winners in each award category and the prizes each winner was awarded:
BEST OVERALL VIDEO
The Importance of Statistics by Jason Girouard ($1,000 and certificate)
Second Place (three videos)
Why Statistics Matters? by Tom Furniss ($333 and certificate)
International Year of Statistics by Olivia B. ($333 and certificate)
A Day Without Statistics by Roberto Molinari ($333 and certificate)
Honorable Mention (four videos)
Stats Can Be Cool You See by Michael Posner (certificate)
That Is What We Are by Hungarian Central Statistical Office (certificate)
My Statistician Friend by Daniele Durante (certificate)
IYS2013_NISRA by Debs Brown and Iain Bri Bryson, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (certificate)
BEST VIDEO BY A PERSON OR PERSONS 18 YEARS OF AGE OR LESS
The Importance of Statistics by Jason Girouard ($500 and certificate)
Check My Stats (Revised) by Marcus Layher, Rachel Lerner, Erik Schoning, and Connor Atkins ($250 and certificate)
Statistics2013—The International Year of Statistics by Rhiannon Farney ($100 and certificate)
BEST NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE VIDEO
That Is What We Are by Hungarian Central Statistical Office ($500 and certificate)
What Do You Know About Statistics? Что такое статистика?” by Yulia Balioz ($250 and certificate)
Statistics Is the Grammar of Science by Svilen Donev ($100 and certificate)
Honorable Mention (two videos)
EMR Video for Annual Statistics 2013 Entry by Jean Paul Ngiruwera (certificate)
Statistics 1 by Ivanka Popova (certificate)
You can go to the International Year of Statistics website to view each video.