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Back to CensusAtSchool home page CaSQ 34 - Using Box Plots to Compare Heights of UK and Australian Students

You can download this activity as a rich text file (RTF) using the link at the bottom of the page.


Task: Comparing the height of 14 year olds in UK and in Australia

The distribution of heights in a sample of one hundred 14 year old boys and girls from the United Kingdom are shown on the following parallel box and whisker plots.


Box-whisker plot of Height
FIGURE 1: Box and whisker plots using the UK CensusAtSchool Data Tool


1. Describe the important features of parallel box and whisker plots as if to a new student.


2. Consider the summary statistics taken from a random sample of students who completed the 2010 CensusAtSchool questionnaire. Construct parallel box and whisker plots of their heights. Make sure that you follow the correct setting out.

minQ1MedQ3max
Males142160172175184
females151159163168177
FIGURE 2: Australian CensusAtSchool data of Year 9 students


3. Based on your results are there differences in the heights of 14 year olds in the UK and Australia?


Extension: Make your own international comparison

1. Use the UK CensusAtSchool data tool to make your own plots of their students’ data by copying and pasting the following link: http://datatool.censusatschool.org.uk/datatool_Jan2012.swf
Note: if you will be comparing this sample with a sample from Australia, you will need to choose an attribute that is included in the Australian CensusAtSchool questionnaire.


2. Take your own random sample of similar students from the 2010 Australian CensusAtSchool data. Use Excel to construct a similar chart or construct one by hand and explain how your sample compares to the UK students.



Download the full activity:


Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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