Jason Brinkley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, East Carolina University
The presenter was recently asked to develop a 10-day short course in data-driven decision making to present during a program funded by the North Carolina General Assembly. The Summer Ventures program is self-defined as "a cost-free enrichment program for academically motivated high school students potentially interested in a career in science or mathematics." The goal of the course was to expose high school sophomores and juniors to the world of data in a unique and exciting way. It was decided early on that the course would not be an academic overview of statistics, and discussions on analytics would be limited. Instead students spend time describing, visualizing and critiquing real-world data sets from health care, education and business settings. Discussions about the size of data would be key; with students working at first with data sets with hundreds, then thousands, and finally millions of observations. This presentation will highlight key parts of the program and lessons learned while developing a way to teach young people with no statistics background to think critically about data and to discover appropriate ways to visualize and glean important information from different amounts and types of data. JMP Pro 11 was the only data software used.