The Teaching Statistics academic journal article, ‘Investigating populations via penguins and their poo!’ by RSS fellows Laura Bonnett and Simon White, has been awarded the 2019 Peter Holmes prize.
In honour of the journal’s founding Editor, the Peter Holmes Prize is awarded to the best classroom idea published in Teaching Statistics in a given year.
Laura and Simon's article is about demonstrating to 11‐18 year-olds how population modelling using sampling works. It describes an activity that uses toy penguins and poo emojis to demonstrate how aerial photographs of penguin guano can be used to estimate the population of an entire penguin colony.
It’s one of eight Hands-on Statistics activities developed by Laura and Simon which are all designed to help others introduce secondary school students to statistical concepts by demonstrating how they are used in real life.
The judges deemed the activity as an 'easily-understood scenario [that] enables discussion ranging from simple to more complex of core statistical ideas of estimating population size, sampling, sampling variation, random and non-random sampling.' The judges concluded that 'overall, this article embodies the aim and spirit of the Peter Holmes prize in an excellent demonstration of a cleverly practical and fun classroom activity, adaptable across a wide range of educational levels and feasibilities, and embodying key statistical ideas.'
Congratulations to Laura and Simon!