The ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information
Communicating statistical information and understandings
In this activity you are to write a detailed letter (2–3 pages) to the local council on the issues related to water management based on the responses from the CensusAtSchool data for your local area. As a concerned citizen of your community, you have decided to collect and analyse information about the importance of water management as an environmental issue.
Computer with internet connection
Pens and paper
CensusAtSchool provides a small window into the lives and habits of Australian school children. The CensusAtSchool questionnaire has two questions that will be a useful source of information for your investigation. Thousands of Australian students completed and submitted the CensusAtSchool questionnaire.
6.1 Background research
6.1.1 Identify a water management issue that is important to your community.
6.1.2 Your research on the issue will look at questions like:
What is the issue?
Why is it important to your community?
How has it been dealt with in the past, now and the future?
What are the possible solutions?
How does the community view the issue?
6.1.3 You could begin your research by collecting and analysing CensusAtSchool data.
a. Q How important are ... environmental issues to you?
b. Q What actions do you take ... to conserve water?
Go to the CensusAtSchool web site and obtain a sample from the Random Sampler to carry out your investigation. The CensusAtSchool Random Sampler will give you access to data from students across Australia. You may like to first obtain an Australian wide sample of 200 students. To obtain responses for your own community, go to the CensusAtSchool Random Sampler and insert a range of postcodes that covers your area. It pays to begin with a postcode range that covers your state or territory. Narrow the range after this. It is best to have Questions about (i) the importance of environmental issues and (ii) actions taken to conserve water on a sheet of their own.
6.1.4 Summarise your findings of the question about the importance of environmental issues and the question about actions taken to conserve water.
( Hint: It will be easier to count the number of students in each category if you sort the data first.
If you are good at Excel it will be even easier if you use the COUNTIF function to do the counting for you)
6.1.5 Draw conclusions from this primary data to suggest how important environmental issues are, and specifically the issue of water management, to Australia and to your community. Remember that graphs are often easier to understand than tables.
6.2 Prepare your letter to the council.
In your letter you will need to clearly Identify the water management issue you are concerned about, what your community thinks and what can be done to address the issue.
6.2.1 Use your analysis of the CensusAtSchool data to:
a. Outline the general importance of environmental issues to Australia and to your community
b. Explain the importance of the issue of water management to Australia and to your community.
Include prepared graphs and tables in the letter as evidence of your conclusions.
7. Marking Criteria
A student demonstrates
·High-level effective use of the CensusAtSchool database
·Comprehensive location and analysis of information
·Provides a comprehensive outline and well considered explanation of the information
·Uses graphs and statistics accurately to communicate findings
·Clear communication of ideas for improved management
·Uses effectively the CensusAtSchool database
·Identifies, with some synthesis, relevant information
·Provides a detailed outline and a satisfactory explanation of the findings
·Provides some graphs and statistics to support writing
·Good communication of ideas for improved management
·Makes limited use of the CensusAtSchool database
·Locates and makes observations about the information
·Provides a limited outline and some explanation of the findings
·Provides some examples of relevant graphs and statistics
·Limited communication of ideas for improved management.
·Obtains only a small amount of data from the CensusAtSchool database
·Locates some information and makes limited observations about the findings
·Provides a limited outline and explanation of the information
·Provides some graphs and statistics of limited relevance
·May suggest ideas for improved management
·Makes reference only to the CensusAtSchool database
·Locates some information only
·Provides minimal explanation of the information
Download the Activity
(RTF document 93 KB)
Data in a spreadsheet
Data in a table
(Excel document 671KB)
(RTF document 53 KB)
To provide any feedback regarding this activity, please contact ABS Education Services on 1800 623 273 or email email@example.com.
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