On 17th July, ESRs Nicolas, Julia and supervisor Franz took part in KinderUni Wien at the Medical University of Vienna. KinderUni (https://kinderuni.at/) is organised by local universities all around Austria and allows children aged 7 to 12 to gain an insight into different areas of many courses taught at university.
We organised a workshop for children, where they could learn about the basics of statistics through different games and activities. We explained the terms of mean, maximum, minimum, median or correlation by measuring the children’s height or arm length. We talked about real life examples of where statistics can be applied and were really happy to see how engaged and knowledgeable the children were.
We were very impressed by how clever the children were and how they quickly adapted to the tasks in hand. An example was a game we called ‘Can you trick us with randomness?’, where they had to either flip a coin 100 times and report the outcome, or to write down a sequence of 0’s and 1’s. Most of the time, it is quite easy to tell which results correspond to a coin flip and which to generating numbers. People tend to switch between 0’s and 1’s more often, so that if one sees more than 6 consecutive outcomes in a row, it should be a coin flip. This was however not the case for children and the results they reported could not be distinguished from the coin flips. They left us quite baffled!
It was great to have this opportunity to teach a younger generation about the world of statistics. I have to admit that we were very surprised how much children nowadays know about statistics, data science and computing. Perhaps we made the workshop too easy!