For the past two years I’ve been moonlighting as a basketball blogger, but my real work takes place, during the day, in an elementary school classroom. I just finished my fifth year teaching and throughout this two year overlap of hobby and profession, I’ve seen many parallels between the work I do with basketball statistics and the work I do guiding the learning of students. The dream has been to find a way to pull these two pieces together in a focused way. Today I’m beginning a new project that will hopefully bring the dream to reality, the K-12 Analytic Challenge. My partner in this project is Eric Berson, a graduate student in math and science education, and a big time basketball fan. Over the next few months we will be unveiling a series of analytic challenges here, on this webpage. Each challenge will ask students to think critically about basketball and statistics and hopefully learn more about the game we all love in the process. We have plans to expand this project, but for right now we are focused on providing fun, intentional ways for young people to dig into basketball statistics. Students, If you are basketball fan, then chances are you spend a fair amount of time thinking about the NBA. Some of that thinking may even happen when you are sitting in a classroom, and your focus is supposed to be on something else. This project is an opportunity to explore and learn more about the math behind the game of basketball. This is a chance to show off what you already know, take your expertise to new heights, and become more skilled at communicating and sharing your basketball knowledge. The challenges are set up so that any student, at any grade level, and with any level of statistical expertise can participate. If you are interested in challenging yourself, we will be here to encourage and guide, offering support every step of the way.
- Challenge #1 – Closed to Submissions
- Challenge #2 – Closed to Submissions
- Challenge #3 – Open until Sunday, September 30th
Information For Parents, Guardians and Educators - Information about the educational goals and framework of the project
Submission Gallery - Links to student submissions from previous challenges
Each challenge may have slight changes to their guidelines and expectations, so make sure you check the challenge page carefully before offering a submission. Here are some standards that will stay consistent:
- Challenges target students in grades K-12. Students must be at least 13 years old to submit a response to the challenge. Students under 13 must ask their parent, guardian or teacher to submit a response on their behalf.
- Students are free to seek help from parents, teachers and other outside resources. However, we ask that the quantity and nature of adult support be clearly documented in the student’s submission.
- We would like to post submissions here on the K-12 Analytic Challenge homepage. If you would prefer that your work not be displayed to the public please let us know.
- In addition to having your work made available to readers here at Hickory-High, each challenge this summer will have a prize. Since this project is a challenge, not a competition all entires will be entered in a raffle, with one entry being selected at random to win.
The content at these sites provides excellent examples of how researching and manipulating basketball statistics can be used to answer questions and support arguments.
- Gothic Ginobili
- Wages of Wins
- The Point Forward
- 48 Minutes of Hell
- Basketball Prospectus
- APBRmetrics Forum