Michigan Statistics Poster Competition (K-12)

The Michigan Statistics Poster Competition (MSPC) supports the development of data analysis and communication skills in K-12 students, which are essential in our increasingly data-driven world.  Annually, teachers throughout Michigan send hundreds of their students' posters to GVSU (see How to Enter), where they are judged in four grade-level categories: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.  Winners in each category are awarded state-level prizes and sent to the national competition organized by the American Statistical Association.

Let's congratulate our winners!


All students in grades K through 12 residing in Michigan are eligible to participate. There is no entry fee!  Entries will be judged in four different grade level categories:

  • Category 1: Grades K-3
  • Category 2: Grades 4-6
  • Category 3: Grades 7-9
  • Category 4: Grades 10-12

Example poster: "Tooth Fairy Fun"

HOW CAN I ENTER? / Registration

Participants must register through the online system.  Registration is now closed.

Click here to register.

Posters must be postmarked/delivered to:

Department of Statistics
Michigan Statistics Poster Competition
A-1-178 Mackinac Hall
Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401-9403

Important tips:

  • Print out the form generated by the registration system and paper-clip it to the poster.
  • Multiple entries may be mailed together but must have separate registration forms. Please send entries flat between taped sheets of cardboard. Do not send posters rolled in a tube.
  • Description (see the Rules in the section below) should be securely attached to the poster back


A statistics poster tells the story of a data set. Numbers and graphs are used to give voice to the truth behind the data. Whether the summary is a bar chart, histogram, or table of numerical summaries the focus should always be on the meaning behind the data. In a well-done statistics poster, the reader is able to discover the story behind the data by following the logical progression of the poster. The emphasis is on the visual display of results through well-placed graphs.

Creating a Statistics Poster

Articles from the Interchange

Lesson Plan

Lesson plan for introducing poster competition to students.  (Thanks to John Golden!)  It is targeted at the 3rd grade level but can be adapted.

Statistics posters and the Standards

In all grades, the gathering, display and interpretation of data is a rich opportunity for the Standards of Mathematical Practice.  These standards capture the heart of what it means to do mathematics, and lessons that engage learners in them are mathematically rich. (http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice/)


Elementary School Statistics

While the Common Core and Michigan State Standards have few explicit statistics standards, to represent and interpret data is a consistent standard from grades 1 through 5. Furthermore, statistical reasoning provides opportunities for meaningful mathematical contexts for number and operations, and for measurement on topics of interest to the learners. Statistical reasoning also has a strong synergy with the expectations in the Next Gen and Michigan Science Standards.  A statistics poster is a project that can motivate and celebrate the learning of elementary students.


2019 4-6 first place

Middle and High School

Formal introduction to statistical reasoning begins in Grade 6 (MS and HS), with learning goals on variability, central tendency, gathering and analyzing data, using technology to build meaningful display and much more. More importantly, we know the importance of statistical reasoning in 21st century society, both for modern citizenship and the students’ own lives. The project-based learning in a Statistics Poster offers an opportunity for individualized learning and for students to see the importance of this kind of thinking on a topic of their own choosing. Again, cross-curricular connections to science are strong due to the importance of math and statistics to the state and Next Generation Science Standards.


Example Poster: "Language"


  • Posters are to measure between 18 to 24 inches by 24 to 30 inches.
  • Any weight of paper is permitted. Standard poster board is recommended.
  • Be sure that anything attached to the front of the poster is affixed securely. Do not attach perishable items.
  • Posters must be the original design and creation of the students.
  • In the K-3 category, at least one graph is required. In the 4-12 categories, at least two graphs are required. The two graphs should impart different information (e.g., a bar graph and a pie chart of the same variable does not meet this criteria). Computer generated graphs are acceptable.


By submitting a poster, students give permission for their work to be displayed at various conferences, special events, in publications and promotional material, and in electronic format on the Internet.

Posters become the property of the competition organizers and are not returned.

  • Subject matter is the choice of the participants. Data may be original or published. For published data, a reference must be given.
  • Posters and the brief description must not contain any marks, names, or information that reveal the identity of the individual, team, school, or location.
  • Students may work individually or in teams. For the K-3 category, there is no restriction on the size of the team (it may be as large as the entire class). For the other three categories, the team may have up to four students. For teams with members from different grade levels, the highest grade level determines the category.

Example poster: "Favorite Dogs"


Entries will be judged within the four grade-level categories on the basis of:

  • Overall impact of the display
    Does the poster catch your eye? Does the poster draw you into the investigation?
  • Clarity of the message
    Do important relationships and patterns in the data stand out? Can conclusions stand alone without the explanatory paragraph on the back?
  • Appropriateness of the graphs for the data/Creativity/Content
    Is the topic important relative to the grade category?

You may access the scoring rubric used by the judges!


  • Prizes in the amounts of $72, $48, and $36 will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each of the grade level categories.
  • Winning entrants' schools will receive plaques signifying the honor.
  • Honorable mention certificates will be awarded also.
  • Top entries will be sent to the national competition organized by the American Statistical Association.
  • Winners will be notified by email.

Contact Information

Please direct all correspondence to Dan Adrian, Chair of the poster competition, at adriand1@gvsu.edu.

MSPC Committee:

Example Poster: "Social Media Pressure on Body Image"