CensusAtSchool home page > Maths - C@S Projects
CaSMa11 - Environmental Graphs
1. Subject Area
2. Suggested Level
3. Key Statistical Literacy Competencies Addressed
- Data awareness
- The ability to understand statistical concepts
- The ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information
- Communicating statistical information and understandings
|This lesson introduces the concept of deviation from the mean. Students compare the environmental issues summary data for each state. They use each State and Territories Environmental mean to calculate how issues in each state deviate from this mean.|
- Student Worksheet
CensusAtSchool Environmental Opinion Results for States and Territories
The summary statistics for the 2010 CensusAtSchool questionnaire showed the following results on the importance for six Environmental Opinion Issues, where a rating of 0 represented Not Important and 999 represented Very Important:
|Issue||ACT ||NSW||NT||QLD||SA||TAS||VIC||WA||Issue overall mean|
|Reducing pollution||713.4 ||694.6||679.2||652.6||655.2||621.7||680.3||685.9|
|Recycling our rubbish||721.2 ||685.8||641.2||628.3||638.0||615.4||673.9||651.3|
|Conserving water||768.4 ||722.2||672.6||690.0||723.3||625.1||752.1||712.0|
|Reducing energy usage||681.3 ||647.8||623.6||615.5||597.5||563.6||635.5||630.5|
|Conserving old growth forests||635.2 ||585.2||616.5||580.0||552.8||558.3||568.3||587.8|
|Protecting coastal/marine environments||702.7 ||672.9||672.8||668.2||632.5||635.3||646.5||667.1|
|State/Territory Overall mean|
1. In the last row calculate the overall State and Territory mean to one decimal place.
2. Use the overall State and Territory mean to make a column graph on the axes below.
3. Comment on the results
4. In the last column of the table calculate the overall issues mean to one decimal place.
5. Use the axes below to make an overall Environmental Issues mean column graph.
6. Comment on the results
The Mean as a measure of the Centre of Data
As the mean is one measure of the centre of data you can check that your results look reasonable by counting the number of values above and below each mean. They should be roughly even.
7. Fill in the table below to show how the ratings varied from the State/Territory overall mean.
8. Were the results even for all States and Territories? If not, can you suggest a reason?
|No. above the mean|
|No. below the mean|
For example, the Queensland mean environmental rating is 639; there are three issues that scored higher than this and three that scored lower.
The Deviation from the Mean
If the mean is the centre of the spread then how far each value is from the mean gives an indication of how each variable is perceived. This difference from the mean is known as the deviation from the mean. A positive deviation means that a value was ranked above the mean while a negative value means that it was ranked below the mean. The deviation from the mean is calculated by subtracting the mean from the value. This is written mathematically as
‘deviation from the mean = x – ’
where x is the score or value and (called x bar) is the mean.
E.g. 1 In Victoria, for conserving water: deviation = 752 – 659 = 93
This means that conserving water is quite a bit higher in ranking than the overall mean.
E.g. 2 In Queensland, for conserving old growth forests:
deviation = 580 – 639 = ¯59
This means that conserving old growth forests is lower in ranking than the overall mean.
The graphs on the next two pages use each deviation from the mean to show the importance that students from each State and Territory placed on the six Environmental issues.
9. Use the graphs and the table above if necessary to answer true or false to the questions below. Where you answer false, give the correct response.
|A||NSW and Tasmania were the only States/Territories where four issues rated above the mean and two below.|
|B||Conserving water scored the highest positive deviation in each State and Territory|
|C||Conserving old growth forests had the highest negative deviation from the mean in all States and Territories.|
|D||Conserving water in Victoria had a higher deviation from the mean than in SA.|
|E||In all States and Territories reducing pollution ranked more highly than recycling our rubbish|
|F||Recycling our rubbish had a positive deviation in all States and Territories.|
|G||Reducing energy and protecting old growth forests had a negative deviation in all States and Territories|
|H||To say that an issue had a negative deviation is the same as saying it was ranked below the overall mean.|
|I||Reducing energy ranked highly in all States and Territories|
|J||Responses in NT were clustered closest to the mean compared to the other States and Territories|
10. You should have found 4 FALSE statements. Correct them by writing a TRUE statement below.
Download the Activity
To provide any feedback regarding this activity, please contact ABS Education Services on 1800 623 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to activities list for Maths - C@S Projects
This page last updated 24 April 2013