By Maria Ferrara & Krista Varanyak (University of Virginia)
Engaging statistics students in other disciplines tends to be difficult because they do not see a connection between the curriculum and their future careers. As instructors our job is to help students to discover and value this link between statistics and their future career. With this goal in mind, the faculty at the University of Virginia host “Stats Live!” for introductory and intermediate statistics students. This event’s main purpose is to connect students to professionals in various fields with the theme of ‘data and its everyday uses’ through panels and workshops. The faculty facilitated events typically consists of a panel of 2 to 3 professionals with different backgrounds who speak about how data is used in their careers with time for a question and answer session with students. The event typically runs for an hour and the panelists join virtually (through Zoom) or travel to the university while the students are all in one large lecture hall (~500 students). To fully engage the students in “Stats Live!” they are required to complete a pre-assignment, attend the event, and write a reflection. Feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive, where students indicate a new appreciation of the versatility of statistics and a realization that data will likely be a big part of their career. During this breakout session, participants will receive a checklist for being an event host, identify potential panelists that would interest your audience, and create a plan for hosting this event in the coming year.