Center for Health Statistics trains young ‘data sleuths’

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As summer approaches, camps that teach kids about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are all the rage.

But only one is held by the National Center for Health Statistics – and it recruits sixth and seventh graders.

It’s called the NCHS Data Detectives Camp, and it trains kids in the basics of statistical thinking.

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The free STEM camp, which began in 2016, has been offered via Zoom since the pandemic began. It is a two-hour daily class that takes place the week of August 8-12.

The camp introduces curious tweens to statistical concepts such as comparisons, predictions, and distributions in a kid-friendly format.

The camp aims to “help teach kids to think like a data sleuth by asking the right question, gathering the necessary information, analyzing the data, and determining the answer,” the agency explains.

The nation’s health by the numbers can be found on the CDC-affiliated blog

This is the approach used by the federal agency, which provides statistical information which is then used to guide health policy. The NCHS, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tracks everything from mortality to disease incidence to health systems information.

His snapshots of health data reveal fascinating and sometimes stark truths about health in the United States, such as the number of suicides and drug overdoses and statistics on how many people eat their fruits and vegetables.

The camp is presented in partnership with the University of Maryland.

Does your math-loving tween need something to do in August? The application form is simple and the agency will accept 30 students. To be considered, children must answer a question about their favorite math concept, equation or number.

The application deadline is May 30. For more information, visit

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