1330.0 - Education News, Aug 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/2012   
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Education News - August, 2012

This newsletter highlights the latest curriculum related teaching resources, student activities and statistical tools that have been developed by ABS Education Services as well as other ABS resources that are useful for schools.

1. CensusAtSchool News
2. 2012 Random Sampler Release
3. An Idea for the Classroom: Australian Participation in Sport
4. Conferences
5. Brand New: CensusAtSchool Lesson and Dataset Features
6. Students and Sports
7. StatsQuest
8. Recently Released Publications
9. Contact Details

A Word from the Editor

To coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games, the theme for this edition of EdNews is Sport.
Did you know that Australia's sporting history dates back to the mid 1800s? Sport is synonymous with Australian culture. Sporting heroes such as Sir Don Bradman, Cathy Freeman, Ian Thorpe and Ken Rosewall are valued and revered by many Australians.

As you know, CensusAtSchool-Australia is part of an international project. To capitalise on the staging of the Olympic Games in London this year, our UK partners have established a SportAtSchool Project. You can find many valuable resources and investigations related to the Olympics at http://sportatschool.org.uk Investigation topics include:
  • Could a marathon ever be run in under two hours?
  • Just what is a pulse rate?
  • Are you a hare or a tortoise?

Best of luck to the Australian Olympian team at the 2012 London Olympics!
In this edition of EdNews, we take a look at the favourite sports for boys and girls by analysing data derived from the 2012 Questionnaire - you'll find some interesting results in the 'Students and Sports' section.

In 'An Idea for the Classroom', we provide an activity that uses sport participation data to examine which types of graphical representation best suit different types of data. We also have some other resources on our website that will enable you and your students to better understand statistical concepts.

If you're looking for ABS data, statistics and resources around sports and physical activity, check out our 'Recently Released Publications' section, which highlights a range of recently published ABS products related to all things sport.

Are you after free ABS Year Books? We currently have a limited supply of pre-2012 year books to give away. If you're interested, jump on-line to see what's available and how to place your order.

We hope you enjoy our August edition of EdNews. If you have any suggestions for articles or activities that you would like covered in the next edition of EdNews, please don't hesitate to contact me on 1800 623 273.

Anu Edirisuriya.

Image: Staff Profile PictureThis edition's feature profile is Sarah Jost. Sarah commenced with the ABS in February 2008 as a Pricing Officer for the Labour Price Index (LPI) team in the WA office. After completing a Graduate Diploma in Psychology Sarah was appointed as a Pricing Analyst and partook in the Graduate Program for 2009. At the beginning of 2010, Sarah joined the Education Services team with a focus on marketing, advertising and web publishing.

1. CensusAtSchool News
CensusAtSchool 2012: Questionnaire Now Closed
CensusAtSchool Logo

The CensusAtSchool Questionnaire for 2012 closed on 6 July. Thank you to everyone who participated. We had a fabulous response, with 21,617 questionnaires submitted by students from Years 5 to 12. More than 1 in 4 schools participated in the CensusAtSchool questionnaire in 2012.

Early analysis of the 2012 data has revealed some interesting information about Australian students. For example:
  • Did you know that to conserve the environment, 86% of Australian students turn the tap off while brushing their teeth?
  • Or that walking is the third most popular method of travelling to school by students Australia-wide, with Victoria having the highest percentage (18%).
  • Trends in internet use amongst Australian students remain consistent from 2011- girls mostly use the internet for social networking (45%), whilst boys mainly play games (50%)

Save this Date! The CensusAtSchool 2013 Questionnaire will open on 4th February 2013.

Are you keen to explore and use the 2012 data? Then please read on! The next section - '2012 Random Sampler Release' - contains some tips on how you can access the 2012 CensusAtSchool data.

2. 2012 Random Sampler Release

RESULTS ARE IN! Data from the 2012 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire is now available by visiting the Random Sampler web page. The questionnaire collected both categorical and numerical data from students. Data can be accessed by everyone for free: your students' participation in the questionnaire is not a requirement for you to be able to access CensusAtSchool data. The Random Sampler allows random samples of up to 200 records to be extracted at a time. Students can conduct real investigations that interest them, make international comparisons, examine trends over time and compare themselves with other Australian students.

Some topics that your students might explore:
    • How does the amount of time spent on homework vary for year level, state or territory, and sex?
    • Who gets more sleep per night: students in lower or higher year levels?
    • What do students eat for breakfast before they come to school?
    • Does hand reaction time change as you get older?
    • What proportion of internet time is spent on school work compared to other activities such as social networking?
Don't forget that we provide many ideas on our website for incorporating CensusAtSchool into your curriculum. In addition to QuickC@S lessons that take a single lesson to complete and reinforce one concept, there are also longer projects available. C@S projects have answer sheets and marking rubrics so you can use them for assessment.
3. An Idea for the Classroom: Australian Participation in Sport

Data collected by the ABS is organised by 'Topic' or by catalogue number where similar types of data are grouped together. Social Statistics such as 'Health' and 'Education' are found in the 4000s family of catalogue numbers. It's within the Social Statistics 'Topic' that you will find the “Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia (cat.no 4177.0) publication.

In this edition of EdNews, we are profiling one our Maths lessons called 'MAT 05 - Participation in Sport'. This lesson uses data from the 'Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia' publication to explore what types of graphical representation best fit different types of data. You can use this lesson in your classroom to examine data and draw conclusions about people's involvement in sport.

Do you have a classroom idea that uses ABS data or ABS Education products? Let us know at education@abs.gov.au and we can share it with schools around Australia.

4. Conferences

Upcoming Conferences:
Education Services will have representatives at various conferences over the following months:

18th August - CMA Conference, Canberra

14 -16th September - MANSW Conference, Sydney

5. Brand New: CensusAtSchool Lesson and Dataset Features

To keep you up to date with new things happening on our webpages, we’d like to tell you about some recent additions and improvements.

Image: Interactive whiteboard symbol Firstly, we’ve just added some lessons for interactive whiteboards. We’ve also made them easy to identify by tagging them with an IWB symbol.

Our first activity IWB activity is MAT10 - Bar Chart of Favourite Pet. Aimed at year 3, students answer questions about a ready made bar chart, then use moveable rectangles to construct their own bar chart for comparison and discussion.

In the second IWB activity, C@SQ 9C, students explore the birth month paradox and track how the graph changes as data for each trial is entered.

Image: Link symbol Secondly, we’ve started to use a 'Link' symbol to show whenever our lessons connect with existing datasets and videos. This will make it easier for teachers to see what resources are available to support them in the classroom. Keep an eye out for the symbol: when you find the 'Link' icon, click on it to be taken to the linked resource.

Quick Profile - New Lesson for Senior Students

If you’re looking for an activity using authentic data for senior students, we’ve added a new activity: CaSQ_39. In this exercise, students consider various bivariate relationships sourced from CensusAtSchool data, and determine whether they are positive or negative, weak or strong. They then match each relationship with its graph and write a sentence describing the relationship in terms of the variables.

The following graph represents arm span versus height. It shows a strong positive relationship with a Pearson’s r of 0.93. Every time a person’s height increases by 1 cm their arm span increases by 1.02 cm.

Graph: Arm span versus height

The next graph represents time spent watching TV versus age. It shows a weak negative relationship with a Pearson’s r of -0.33. Every time a person’s age increases by 1 year the amount of TV they watch decreases by 1.58 hours per week.
Graph: Time watching TV versus age

6. Students and Sports

Which sports are the most popular for boys and girls in school today? The following graphs, created from 2012 Questionnaire available from the Random Sampler, reveal some very interesting statistics. Both graphs display the three favourite sports for boys and girls between 2008 and 2010.

Graph: Three Favourite Sports, FemalesThe most popular sport for girls in 2012 is netball (26%), unchanged since students were first asked about their favourite sport in CensusAtSchool 2008. It has consistently increased in popularity since 2010. School initiatives such as Fun Net, Netta Netball and Net Set GO! contribute to increased awareness and participation in netball amongst school aged children - this may encourage girls to select netball as their favourite sport. Popular mainstream TV shows such as 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'So you think you can dance?' may have contributed to the increase in popularity in dancing for girls. As the top two sports of netball and dancing increase in popularity, swimming has slowly been declining (down from 9.4% in 2011 to 8% in 2012).
Three Favourite Sports, MaleFor boys, their favourite sport in 2012 is soccer (19%) over AFL (12%) and tennis (11%). Tennis enjoys a high profile in Australia - we host the first tennis grand slam of the year, and have successful tennis players such as Samantha Stosur. The presence of tennis within Australian media, along with high profile players' success, may provide some insight into the increasing popularity of tennis amongst boys. AFL, whilst still the second favourite sport for boys, has been steadily declining in popularity since 2010. It will be interesting to see whether these trends continue in 2013.

7. StatsQuest: Seeking Student Work

Image: ABS stats questHave your students been using lessons or data from the ABS? Teachers are invited to submit copies of exemplary student work by post or email to the ABS Education Services Unit. From those we receive, lessons and data will be chosen to be posted on the Education Services web pages with acknowledgement given to the student and the school.

When submitting lessons or data, remember to include:
  • permission to publish work, signed by the student and yourself;
  • the name of your school; and
  • your contact details so we can contact you if necessary.

In addition, all students who have work submitted will be acknowledged with a certificate - this is a great way to reward students and promote high quality work in your classroom. Please note that we are unfortunately unable to return original copies of submitted work.

8. Recently Released Publications

Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, 2011 (cat.no. 4156.0)
This publication provides a statistical overview of sports and physical recreation in Australia. Topics covered include output of the sports and physical recreation sector, employment in sports and physical recreation, government expenditure on recreation and participation in sports and physical recreation activities.

Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, April 2010 (cat.no. 6285.0)
This publication presents data on the number and characteristics of people involved in organised sport and physical activity, by type of involvement (playing and/or non-playing roles) and whether payment is received.

Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009-10 (cat.no. 4177.0)
Information contained in this publication includes details on the number and characteristics of people who participate in a range of sport and physical activities. Data covers persons aged 15 years and over who participated in sport and physical recreation activities as players, competitors or persons who physically undertook an activity.

Employment in Sport and Recreation, Australia, Aug 2006 (cat. no. 4148.0)
This publication presents data on the number of people employed in selected sport and physical recreation occupations, including a breakdown of demographic characteristics.

Sport and Recreation Funding by Government, Australia, 2000-01 (cat. no. 4147.0)
This publication contains estimates of funding for sport and recreation activities by the three tiers of government in Australia.
Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0)
The 2011 Australian Census of Population and Housing was conducted on 9 August 2011. The Census provides information about the population's characteristics and its housing, within small geographic areas, to support planning, administration, policy development and evaluation activities in the public and private sectors.

There will be a three phased release for the 2011 Census data. The first data release occurred on 21 June 2012 (including core demographic data); this will be followed by a second release on 30 October 2012. The third release (supplementary data) relates to the dissemination of highly specialised products. This third release will begin on 28 March 2013 until the end of 2013. Visit Census release plans for more information.

Remember: all ABS publications are free to download from the ABS website.

You can view the full range of previously released publications from the ABS under Previous Releases.
9. Contact Details

How to contact ABS Education Services

Free Call: 1800 623 273
Email: education@abs.gov.au

Mail: GPO Box 2796
Melbourne, 3001


Education News is a totally free resource that aims to assist teachers' use ABS data in their classroom. When you subscribe you will be notified of each new edition as it is published.