There are many amazing women who have made an impact on our world. One special woman, Florence Nightingale, was a British nurse who was a social reformer, nurse, and statistician, known for founding modern nursing. Florence Nightingale Day celebrates women in statistics and data science. This year, the celebration of Florence Nightingale was an opportunity for middle and high school students at Crescenta Valley High School to find career opportunities in statistics and science to focus on later in their lives.
The two parts of this Florence Nightingale celebration were a conference and a student video competition responding to any kind of statistics about COVID-19, and hosted by KWiSE (Korean-American Women in Science & Engineering). The conference was held on October 24, 2020 through Zoom, and the deadline to submit their videos was October 18, 2020. Students from all over the country participated in the conference and video competition.
The first speaker, Dr. Nancy Geller from the National Institutes of Health gave a presentation titled, “If You Don’t Try, You Will Never Know.” She gave a very detailed explanation about how she came about her interests in biostatistics, although she never believed she would never go to this career path. Dr. Nancy Geller had many different elements of her life in which if she had not tried, and taken the risk, she may have not known what she could truly become. After giving her talk, she answered many questions that students had and did her best to guide them if they had questions about their future careers. Dr. Mimi Kim, the second speaker from Albert Einste, provided a presentation titled, “My career in Biostatistics: From One Plague to Another.” She started by giving her outlook on this coronavirus pandemic and how she had to fight the disease herself where she lived. After, she went through her career path and how she finally chose biostatistics as her true passion. Dr. Mimi Kim mentioned that she had provided many internships to students interested in biostatistics and many of the students listening to the conference were very interested. Lastly, Dr. Nicole Lazar gave a presentation titled, “Adventures in Statistics.” During her presentation, she continued to emphasize that she had never known she would pursue statistics as a career. Instead, she said that she was interested in archaeology and even psychology at times before coming across statistics. She gave her honest opinion that it is very important for young students to find fabulous mentors that will give them the correct advice needed to develop into their true characters.
After the conference, the Zoom meeting concluded with announcing the winners of the student video competition regarding statistics on the COVID-19 pandemic. Students submitted three minute long videos full of their creativity but also many numbers and charts showing the data that they had discovered. There was one first place winner, two second place winners, three third place winners, and ten honorable mention winners. All of the winners received a cash prize for their amazing work! The videos of the first and second place winners were even shown ?uring the conference. As a third place winner myself, “I was very honored to be given the opportunity to participate in this competition and obtain important knowledge of how to continue with my college and career path.”
I highly encourage everyone to celebrate Florence Nightingale Day, and am hopeful that it will inspire many high school girls around the world to become interested in biostatistics.