Statistics For Students: The K-12 Analytic Challenge

I've been a contributor here at Indy Cornrows for over two years, although my posts have been appearing much less frequently lately. My work, as an elementary school teacher has taken up time. My life outside of basketball has taken up time. And one giant project has taken up time. That first part of the project, The K-12 Analytic Challenge, went up on Tuesday, and Tom was gracious enough to let me share the project here at Indy Cornrows.

Together with Eric Berson, a graduate student in math and science education, and big basketball fan; I've been working on designing ways to help students build their science, math and reasoning skills with basketball statistics as the theme.

Over the next few months we'll be unveiling a series of analytic challenges. Each challenge will ask students to think critically about basketball and statistics, hopefully learning a little in the process. Students will need to choose an answer and use statistics to support their reasoning. With each challenge there will be a series of scaffolded hints, guiding students through the conceptual reasonings behind different basketball statistics and hopefully making the challenges accessible to everyone.

We are hoping for submissions of all different kinds, from all different students, from all different grade levels. Submissions could range from a few sentences to a few paragraphs, whatever it takes to make your case. To encourage participation we're also incorporating prizes for the initial challenges taking place this summer. The project is not competitive, so the winner of each prize will be chosen at random from all completed entries.

The first challenge went up on Tuesday - "Who was the best offensive player in the NBA during the 2011-2012 season?" The prize for this challenge is a $50 gift card to the NBA Store. Again any student, at any grade level is encouraged to participate. We would welcome answers based on points per game, all the way up to answers based on more complex statistical reasoning.

If you're a parent or educator, please spread the word. If you're under 18 and interested in basketball or statistics, check us out and give us a shot. The first challenge closes June 30th, so submit before then for a chance at that $50 gift card. Of course, we'd love feedback from anyone who has the time to check out the project.

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