Talking through an interesting tweet from Scott Gottlieb with my kids

Last week I saw this fascinating tweet from Scott Gottlieb:

I thought the charts in the tweet would be great for a discussion of the pandemic in the US with kids, so I gave it a shot this morning. We walked through the charts one at a time (my kids just finished 8th and 10th grade). Here’s what they had to say:

Chart 1:

The boys were able to understand why separating out the New York area from the rest of the country made sense. They were concerned about states making decisions about reopening when the cases in the country (ex NY area) were not declinng:

The next chart in Gottlieb’s tweet was one I thought was particularly interesting:

I was really interested to see if the kids could understand why the projections based on the aggregate data would be different than the combined state by state projections.

For the third chart, the boys had some really interesting things to say. I was really happy that they noticed that the color scheme changed chart to chart.

Finally, to try to connect some of the ideas we talked about, we went to the FT’s website to study some of the trends in positive tests in the US. We had a good discussion about a few states and then a really nice discussion about log plots. It was great to hear what kids see in all of these charts:

I’m really happy with how this project went – it is nice to hear what kids have to say about different data sets related to the corona virus. Obviously not all of the information about the corona virus is going to be accessible to kids, talking through a few of the ideas that are accessible will really help them understand the pandemic, and the decisions we have to make around the pandemic, much better.

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