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Inaugural Florence Nightingale Day Inspires Students to Pursue Statistics, Data Science

1 March 2019 1,174 views No Comment
Students discover the opportunities for careers in statistics and data science during Florence Nightingale Day.

Students discover the opportunities for careers in statistics and data science during Florence Nightingale Day.

Fun Facts from OSU FN Day

Ninety-five students came from 23 schools representing eight counties throughout Ohio.

Students from Columbus City schools and suburban areas came with their parents.

There were many enthusiastic students coming from farther afield, traveling as far as 150 miles on school buses.

The day ran smoothly thanks to 43 volunteers, including a high-school senior, undergraduate and graduate students, a postdoc, a high-school math teacher, local community members, and OSU faculty and staff.

The American Statistical Association and Caucus for Women in Statistics (CWS) jointly hosted the first Florence Nightingale Day (FN Day) October 27, 2018, in Athens, Georgia; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Columbus, Ohio. Middle- and high-school students gathered to discover the opportunities for careers in statistics and data science, do fun activities with data, and develop connections—the primary goals of the event.

ASA Past-President Lisa LaVange and President-elect Wendy Martinez kicked off the event at all locations via live streaming, each talking about why they chose a career in statistics and telling personal stories that inspired the young audience.

The event in Columbus took place on The Ohio State University (OSU). Ninety-five female students from grades 8–12 packed the auditorium of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute to start the day full of fun activities showcasing statistics and data science. After the introduction by the ASA presidents, the students were treated to a lively round of Kahoot! Created and facilitated by a high-school senior, students answered questions related to Florence Nightingale, women in STEM history, popular culture, career opportunities in statistics and data science, and fun facts about OSU—all involving numbers.

Next, the students were divided into 10 groups and rotated through 10 stations focusing on an aspect of statistics, including “Statapult,” “Monty Hall: Let’s Make a Deal,” and “SKUNK.” Through these engaging educational activities, students got a taste of what statistics and data science are all about. Study design, data collection, organization, visualization, and running simulations on a calculator were just a few of the concepts illustrated by the activities. Students were also given the opportunity to sign up for the CWS “Member in Training (MiT)” membership, which exposes them to a wealth of resources and connects them to the CWS network of peers and mentors throughout the year.

The ASA and CWA hope to expand FN Day to more sites next year.

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