Thiel Prof Creates Stats Course for High School Students

GREENVILLE, Pa. – A professor at Thiel College has completed a program introducing high school students to statistics through real-world examples and research.

Kristel Gallagher developed the “Passion Driven Statistics” curriculum and taught 20 students participating in Central Washington University’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, a weeklong summer program at the college.

“I was drawn to this model of teaching statistics because it makes statistics real for students – it’s not about formulas, it’s not about functions, it’s not even about math,” she said in a release. “Passion Driven Statistics’ is about learning to use statistics to understand real world problems and conduct meaningful research. So many of our students have a fear of math, but they quickly realize that statistics is so much more than just math.”

As part of the program, students wrote research questions about teenage health, developed computer coding and combined the two to answer the questions, turning the data into informational posters. Gallagher taught the class alongside Kristin Woods of Southwest Oklahoma State University.

“I love teaching statistics using this model because it has made my classroom a place where my students are the stars of their own shows, instead of it being about what I bring to the classroom,” Gallagher said. “My students bring their ideas, passion and experiences to the classroom to answer their research questions. I’m just there to guide them and provide the skill sets they need to understand applied statistics.”

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