2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Dec 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/12/2006   
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The Census - not too cool for school

CensusAtSchool, a major ABS initiative in online education, was launched at the Melbourne Museum on October 20. The project, is free, voluntary and open to all Australian schools.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Chris Pearce MP, officially launched the project with Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin also presenting a speech.

Comedian Adam Spencer was the keynote speaker and entertained the audience with a humorous account of his love affair with numbers.

The packed audience at the museum included senior educational administrators from around Australia and school students from Caroline Springs College and Regency Park Primary School. CensusAtSchool has the strong backing of both public and private educational bodies in all States and Territories with over 1,100 schools currently registered.

CensusAtSchool is designed to show students from Years 5 to 12 how statistics can be relevant to them.

This will be achieved by giving students the opportunity to model the Census process by voluntarily participating in a questionnaire during the first half of 2006.

After 11 July 2006, students will be able to obtain random samples from the responses to these questionnaires. This data will then be used in various classroom activities or activities provided on the ABS web site.

CensusAtSchool will be an engaging tool for students to learn and use statistics. This will increase interest in statistics and encourage more students to consider studying statistics at a tertiary level. Another purpose of the project is to raise awareness of the national Census of Population and Housing to be held on 8 August next year.

CensusAtSchool is an international project originating in the United Kingdom. It has now grown to include projects in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

The CensusAtSchool project is one of many ways the ABS is involved in assisting schools. The ABS, through the National Education Services Unit , provides free resources to schools through the ABS website. In addition, the ABS promotes statistics in schools through a range of publications, support for teachers and interactive games. It also supports other organisations using or promoting statistics in schools. CensusAtSchool plays a significant part in this larger effort.

School registration for CensusAtSchool is open now. For more information and registration details go to the ABS website www.abs.gov.au and click on the CensusAtSchool link.