Entry url: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/video/blog/2012/01/bringing_life_to_statistics.html

# Professor Brings Statistics to Life

Posted on January 31, 2012

## Summary

Learning about statistics, the science that deals with the collection and interpretation of data, might not be very exciting to most students.

But what if the lesson included Lego building blocks and a man who swallowed swords?

Meet Hans Rosling, co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation. Over the last five years, this professor has collected millions of online fans around the world with an usually un-glitzy topic: statistics.

Rosling brings to life global health and development data by using props and a visualization software he and his team created.

For example, he uses boxes to explain population growth and a washing machine to illustrate how the lives and health of poor women and their families are drastically improved by the device.

Like many successful entertainers and plenty of great teachers, Rosling knows that, once he's got your attention, he can pull out something unexpected.

Rosling said he is going to continue talking about important global health statistics whenever and wherever he can.

## Quotes

"You see, I find holes, deep black holes of ignorance. And now I try to fill them." -
Hans Rosling, co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation.

## Warm Up Questions

1. What is a statistic?

2. How do we use statistics?

3. Why is it important to gather and study data?

## Discussion Questions

1. In your opinion, why has Mr. Rosling become an internet sensation?

2. Do you think learning about global statistics from him would be more interesting? Why or why not?

3. Do you think it's important for young people to understand statistics about population and poverty? Why or why not?

## Related Resources

Video transcript:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/globalhealth/jan-june12/hansrosling_01-30.html

World Population Hits 7 Billion Milestone :

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/world/july-dec11/population_10-28.html

Lesson Plan: Food Insecurity & Poverty In America:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/economics/july-dec11/food_11-18.html

Lesson Plan: The World at 7 Billion:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/math/july-dec11/population_10-28.html