Statistics with Candy!

February 27th, 2015 – written by Eugenia Ruiz, STEM Facilitator
Feb 27 - 1When will Chicago get their first warm day?! Meanwhile, the Sisters4Science class at Funston Elementary is doing the best they can at being patient until it is warm enough to go outside!
In today’s session, Dr. Irene Helenowski from Northwestern University was our scientist of the day. It was fantastic having her come back to the program and see the girls again! They were looking forward to seeing her and taking part in the activities she brought for them!! Today, she brought some treats for the girls as a part of the lesson. There were two bags; in each of those bagsFeb 27 - 7 were two different types of candies. Twix and Snickers in the blue bag and 3 Musketeers and Milky Way in the pink bag. The girls were to randomly pick one candy out of each bag. The girls created a chart on the board that tallied up which combination they had. Dr. Helenowski then calculated Fisher’s Exact Test on her computer to see if the combinations were all the same. It was noted that a p-value less (not greater) than 0.05 would indicate that the combinations were not equal. Dr. Helenowski explained to the girls that this was similar to her job.  If you were to replace the Twix and Snickers with boys and girls, and the 3 Musketeers and Milky Way with two different kinds of medicine, it would help with the data of which medicine worked best for either the boys or girls. Feb 27 - 6The girls were fascinated with that! They did not know that math had a lot to do with science and it amazed them of that fact. Who new a little chocolate would get them interested in statistics?!
The girls enjoyed their session with Dr. Helenowski and were fascinated by what she does for the medical community. We are lucky to have her visit and look forward to keeping in touch with her in the future!

Biostatistics at Funston!

Written by our STEM Facilitator, Eugenia Ruiz:
On the chilly Friday of February 6th, the Sisters4Science girls at Funston Elementary started off their day with a fun ice breaker! We did ‘The Name Game’ with a small twist: done with verbs!  All the girls had to re-introduce yourself and add a verb of what they like to do.  Many of the girls shared that they liked to text and/or go out with their friends. It was interesting to see what many of the girls liked to do in their free time!  The girls then did the name game in a different version because there were many new students that recently became a part of our program.  We loving have newcomers!
Feb 6 - 1Our scientist for today was Dr. Irene Helenowski who works as a researcher at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. She helps researchers with statistical data for the designs of study and analysis. Today, she brought the girls flashcards with different numbers. The girls were put into two groups: A and B.  The goal was to have the girls figure out the means and median of the data. Then, Dr. Helenowski helped the girls with something called standard deviation, something very new for the Funston students! She helped the girls find out the standard deviation between the two data.
The girls loved doing a little bit of math and learning how it can be used in the science world. They were very interested to learn how Dr. Helenowski uses math to help the science field. They were even amazed that she works at the Northwestern University! A great day with the girls leaving happy and a little bit more comfortable knowing that math and science can go well together.