Schools "Tackling Numbers" program up for award

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

getstats is excited to hear that ’Tackling Numbers‘ – an interactive numeracy programme for young children developed by Premiership Rugby and run in partnership with MBNA - has been shortlisted for a Sports Marketing 360 Award in the “Making a Difference” category.
 
Representatives from all 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs deliver Tackling Numbers, an interactive rugby-themed numeracy programme for 8-9 year olds across 5 weeks of classroom sessions and practical number-based rugby games.
 
In the 2010-11 the programme reached 8,400 children in 280 schools across 14 English regions. More than three quarters of teachers reported the programme  improved and strengthened pupils’ attitude to numbers.
 
It’s great to hear about children getting fit, doing data work and gaining basic numeracy know-how which will underpin their development of quantitative skills in the future.  Also by starting to think about how they will – one day – manage their money, they are taking their first steps on the path to financial literacy.
 
Making teaching meaningful is key. It’s the application of numbers that we are all most interested in. Teach Statistics through the subjects that young people are interested in, make it clear how they can use Statistics, make it fun too and you’ll have them hooked.
 
See this short video of rugby star, Tom Wood and teachers at a Northamptonshire primary school lending ‘Tackling Numbers’ help to year 4 pupils in the classroom and on the pitch.
 

Party conference season

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Civil servants need better training in stats, the Liberal Democrats say in a paper discussing science, maths and stats education and the need to ensure public policy is more securely based on evidence.
 
 As the party convenes its annual conference in Brighton, the Liberal Democrat policy paper says ’civil servants would be better equipped to fulfil their roles if they were trained in the basics of statistical science, evidence-based policy, and the scientific method’. It does not say whether these gaps in Whitehall have become more obvious now that Liberal Democrat ministers in the coalition are witnessing them at close quarters.
 
 The paper, drafted by the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, pleads for more training, and more recruitment of civil servants with a background in science and engineering. MPs need better access and familiarity with statistics, too, it says and advocates a beefed-up role for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.
 
 The paper proposes an independent Office of Science Responsibility to check departments were using evidence in their decision making. It is not clear whether this would count as a new quango, reducing the number culled by the Coalition government.
 

Building statistical capacity in parliament

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

The getstats campaign aims to improve how we handle numbers – the practical numbers of daily life, business and policy.
 
Statistics are tools that turn data into useful information and help us to make better and well-informed decisions. As the supply of data increases, statistical understanding becomes more and more useful, in parliament as among the public at large.
 
To this end, RSS-getstats has  - with the support of the House of Commons Library and the All Party Parliamentary Group  - been running a programme of seminars for peers, MPs and their staff,  helping them to make the most of data in their work.  getstats in parliament seminars to date have focused on issues relevant to the work of parliament,  most recently health,  sport and – coming soon – crime and education.
 
In his blog today, Mark Easton, getstats campaign Board member comments on a survey of parliamentarians which the campaign commissioned in late 2011. The survey’s findings forms part of a wider and on-going look at the statistical needs and interests of parliamentarians and into how data and statistical know-how impacts on parliament’s work both as a legislature and in holding executive government accountable.
 
Parliamentarians may not have come through the survey with flying colours (although they fared better than the general public in our 2010 survey of wider public audiences which asked the same questions )…however, the good news is that the getstats programme in parliament continues to work with MPs, their staff and researchers to raise the importance of statistics; a dedicated training and capacity building programme will start next month.
 

A small but appetising taste of risky TV

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Just to whet our appetite, Wingspan Productions have alerted us to the new ‘Tails you win” clip on the BBC’s YouTube channel. The 4.5 mins snippet shares David’s positive outlook on life and why he thinks that knowing more about chance and risk may actually increase our enjoyment of life (and perhaps boost our life expectancy too).
 
For those of us keen to know more about the numbers and research underlying the clip, see David Spiegelhalter’s  Blog at Understanding Uncertainty.
 
——————————-
 
Tails you win: the science of chance, will first air on BBC Four at 2100 hrs on 18 October 2012. It will be repeated at 0210 hrs on 19 October 2012.
 

Win a prize for showing impact of stats

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

The steering committee of the International Year of Statistics is running a video contest to help launch a worldwide celebration of the positive impact of statistics.
 
The committee, which includes Professor Denise Lievesley of King’s College, former president of the RSS, is asking for videos four minutes in length or less that illustrate how statistics impacts on people’s lives, improves society; how statistical thinking can be brought to bear on important issues of our day; or tell about interesting careers using statistics.
 
Cash prizes worth up to $1000 will be offered for the best videos, with special prizes for the best videos by a person or persons 18 years of age or less and the best non-English language videos.  (Providing the committee with a written translation or providing English subtitles would be especially helpful.)
 
‘Entries will be judged on their statistical content and their entertainment value. All submissions must be the original design and creation of the entrants and must not infringe anyone else’s copyright protections.  Submissions must be posted on YouTube with a link sent to Tom Short, chair of the Statistics2013 Video Contest review committee, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by October 31, 2012.
 

Tails you win - the science (and joys) of chance

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Remember BBC Four’s amazing The Joy of Stats...? Well, for those of you who have seen it and for those of you who have not (where have you been!?), the producers –  Wingspan  – have created something wonderful again. This time for everyone interested (or not yet interested, but soon will be) in numbers, chance, risk and probability.
 
The new production entitled “Tails you win – the science of chance” is presented by David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of Public Understanding of Risk.
 
Travelling between the UK and the USA, the story of chance is told: our discovery of how it works, how to calculate the odds for the future, how we usually fail to conquer chance but are learning to celebrate it and turn it to our advantage in cracking scientific problems.  Other contributors include:  former England cricketer Ed Smith; Las Vegas gambling legend Mike Shackleford;  the self-styled ‘Wizard of Odds’;  Chief Economist at the Bank of England Spencer Dale.
 
“Tails you win – the science of chance” is expected to air on 18 October 2012.
 

Killer statistics

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Jack Warner, National Security Minister for Trinidad and Tobago, has hit the international headlines with an intriguingly positive view of statistics. They make you do bad things.
 
Warner,  already controversial because of his role in FIFA (he was forced to stand down as vice president amid allegations of cronyism), said when figures show a drop in crime, or even identify areas with no crime, criminals are encouraged to perpetrate crime in response. ’They want to make news, they want to make headlines that spoil the record, and they get an incentive to do this’
 
The remedy, he says, to is to suppress crime data.  ’No figures of any kind will be given  anywhere … I’ve also instructed the police not to reveal any figures on  murders anywhere, anytime,’ he said.
 
Kevin Baldeosingh, a columnist on the Trinidad Express, had some fun with the proposed ban – which police chiefs have so far resisted. He noted that the minister had been said by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July to be ’prone to an economy with the truth’. To measure how prone, he went, on you need a statistical theorem.
 
‘This theorem, which describes the effect of experience on opinion, says that P (A\B) = P (B\A) x P (A)/ {P (B\A) x P (A)} + {P (B|~A) x P (~A)} where P is the probability that Jack lies (B) when he talks (A). If we assign a probability of 50 per cent to A and 66 per cent to B, that gives us a 67 per cent probability that, when Jack speaks, he lies. Which would explain why he doesn’t like statistics.’
 

Join the RSS

Join the RSS

Become part of an organisation which works to advance statistics and support statisticians

Copyright 2019 Royal Statistical Society. All Rights Reserved.
12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX. UK registered charity in England and Wales. No.306096

Twitter Facebook YouTube RSS feed RSS feed RSS newsletter

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies and Terms of Use.