Bringing statistics to life

Issue: Volume 96, Number 2

Posted: 13 February 2017
Reference #: 1H9d66

In this year’s CensusAtSchool, students are turning data detectives to tell real-life stories about their peers.

Record numbers of students will see how maths and statistics are relevant to their lives when they compare their pocket money rates and screen time allowances for this year’s CensusAtSchool/TataurangaKiTeKura.

More than 530 schools have already registered to take part in the biennial project, which started on 7 February. It is hoped that more than 50,000 students in years 5-13 will take part this year.

This fun project provides teachers with engaging data that students can use to tell real-life stories about their classmates and peers around the country. It brings statistics to life for students and helps to create a lifelong interest in maths.

CensusAtSchool provides a snapshot of children’s lives and opinions that aren’t collected in any other way. In recent years it has provided fascinating insights into Kiwi kids, including that singer Stan Walker was their favourite local celebrity two years ago – even beating Lorde 25 per cent to 21 per cent.

However, the 2013 survey had a more international pop culture focus and found the most popular band for girls was One Direction but boys favoured Bruno Mars.

Serious subjects are also canvassed. The same year revealed that teen girls were more likely to have done their homework, with 74 per cent having done it the night before the census but only 61 per cent of teen boys.

The 2013 CensusAtSchool also found that most high school students (56 per cent) slept for eight to 10 hours a night but 37 per cent, or almost four in 10 reported sleeping for eight hours or fewer. And the most common time they went to bed? 10.30pm.

Schools can register and take part any time before the project ends in July.

CensusAtSchool(external link) began in 2003 and is run by the University of Auckland’s Statistics Department with support from the Ministry of Education and Statistics NZ. It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is also carried out in Australia, the UK, Canada, the US, Japan and South Africa.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:20 am, 13 February 2017

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