1330.0 - Education News, Feb 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/2013   
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Education News - February, 2013

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. CensusAtSchool: Getting Started
  3. NEW Resource: Helix@CSIRO Blog
  4. An Idea for the Classroom: CaSMa 13 - The Statistical Cycle (Year 7)
  5. Competitions
  6. Conferences
  7. Interesting Publications
  8. Contact Details

A word from the editor

Welcome to the Term 1 edition of Ed News!

This year is the International Year of Statistics, and to celebrate, the theme for this edition is CensusAtSchool.

The 2013 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire is now open and there is an exciting new question to answer this year. For more information check out the 'CensusAtSchool News' section.

The International Year of Statistics aims to increase public awareness of the power and impact of statistics in all aspects of society, to nurture statistics as a profession, and promote creativity and development in statistics. We have the creativity aim covered and invite you to get your students involved in the ISLP Poster Competition. The submission date has been extended and we now have details available about the fantastic prizes on offer. More information about this, and other competitions, can be found in the 'Competitions' section.

In this edition we also bring you an article about the new 'Helix@CSIRO' blog, launched in November. This blog is a great tool that teachers can use to show students how statistics can be applied to different areas of their education, from art to science. In 'An Idea for the Classroom', we have provided an activity that explores the Statistical Cycle. In this lesson, students use the five step statistical cycle to design an investigation and use statistical displays and summary statistics to analyse CensusAtSchool data. This lesson also offers a great opportunity to utilise the fantastic data poster created by our colleagues at Stats New Zealand.

For even more ABS data, statistics and resources, check out our 'Interesting Publications' section. These publications offer a gateway into a range of recently published ABS products that I have found particularly interesting this month.

I hope you enjoy our February edition of Ed News. If you have any suggestions for articles or activities that you would like covered in the next edition of Ed News, please don't hesitate to contact Education Services on 1800 623 273.

Emma Salik

Staff Bio: Vivienne McQuadeVivienne McQuade joins Education Services this year as the new Mathematics Teacher Consultant. She brings valuable experience from South Australia where she has been involved in significant Mathematics initiatives including Maths 4 Learning Inclusion and working in the Australian Curriculum paradigm in the area of General Capabilities. 'The opportunities provided by bringing together all learning aspects of the Australian Curriculum, statistical teaching and learning, statistical literacy and an important project like CensusAtSchool, can make a real difference in designing deeper learning for all students. We are indeed in exciting times!' says Vivienne.

1. CensusAtSchool News CensusAtSchool Logo

It's that time of the year again! The 2013 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire is now open and will stay open until 19 July. Last year over 21,000 students input their data. We encourage teachers to get their students to participate in the 2013 Questionnaire so that they too can be a part of this national community. By adding their data, students are contributing to an exceptional and unique databank which is accessible to students and teachers for free.

NEW question! This year there is a new question on the questionnaire. Students will be asked to measure their heart rate as a means of collecting continuous numerical data.

What is CensusAtSchool? CensusAtSchool is a nation-wide project that runs annually. The questionnaire is open in terms 1 and 2 every year. Students complete an online questionnaire of 31 questions such as their height, what they had for breakfast and their opinions on environmental and social issues. The questionnaire is designed to collect different types of data such as categorical and numerical. The data is collected in a confidential manner to ensure individual students cannot be identified. For more information you can visit the CensusAtSchool - Australia website.

Once the questionnaire closes, the data for 2013 will be available through the Random Sampler. The data is free to access and your students do not have to complete the questionnaire to access the data. Data for 2006 to 2012 is available right now through the Random Sampler.

Completing the questionnaire is quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

1. Create a teacher account
2. Access your teacher account to get student access numbers (SAN)
3. Get your students to complete the Questionnaire. This usually takes around 20 minutes.

For more information about setting up a teacher account, and other useful tips, check out the 'CensusAtSchool: Getting Started' section.

Explore the possibilities. Completing the questionnaire and then accessing the data is an exciting way to teach students about statistics and how a survey is conducted. The data is relevant to students and can be used in a number of ways. Students can even access and compare data from the other countries involved in CensusAtSchool around the world! There are nine countries with rich data just waiting to be explored on the International Random Data Selector.

Participating in the CensusAtSchool questionnaire is also an easy way to satisfy some of the General Capabilities outlined in the Australian Curriculum. Education Services provides a library of lessons on our website that teachers can access and use for free.

2. CensusAtSchool: Getting Started

Congratulations! You have made the fantastic decision to get your students involved in the 2013 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire!

We have improved our systems for the 2013 cycle, so we hope that you will find 'getting started' a quicker and easier process.

Setting up a teacher account:
To set up a teacher account visit the CensusAtSchool home page. Select the 'Teacher Account' link.

Step One: Find Teacher Accounts on the CensusAtSchool home page

If you already have a teacher account, select 'Login' and enter your details. Once logged in, you can access your allocated Student Access Numbers (SAN) or generate more for your students if required.

If you do not already have an account, signing up is a simple process. Simply select 'create a Teacher Account' and you will be directed to the account set-up form.

Step Two: Select 'create a teacher account'

The Account Set Up form is quick and easy to complete. Start by providing your schools' postal address postcode, or a keyword, before clicking on the 'search' button. A list of schools that match your criteria will be generated and you simply have to select the correct school to continue.

The only other details you are required to provide are your personal details (name, email address and phone number), and then an estimate of how many students you expect will be participating in the questionnaire. You will then need to create a username and password. The final step is to tick the box at the bottom of the page that declares you have have informed the Principal of your students' participation in CensusAtSchool. It's as easy as that!

Now that you have set up your teacher account you can generate SAN for your students and complete the questionnaire.

Step three: Set up a teacher account

Attention South and Western Australian teachers! It has come to our attention that your school email addresses may have changed. The improvements to our teacher account system this year mean you can log in to your account and update your email address (as well as any of your other recorded details) at any time.

3. NEW Resource: Helix@CSIRO Blog

Helix @CSIRO logo

Looking for an interactive online resource to get your students excited about maths? The Helix@CSIRO blog was launched in November and it is packed with activities that will interest and challenge your students.

Helix@CSIRO is produced by the CSIRO in partnership with The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust, bankmecu, Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. As a partner of this exciting program, Education Services provides activities to this blog as a part of our involvement in Maths and Stats by Email.

Helix@CSIRO allows students to read and comment on science and maths related news stories and report the findings of their own hands-on activities. Students are also able to watch engaging science and maths related videos, vote in polls, take part in quizzes, and interact via other multimedia experiences. An extra benefit of students' involvement with this blog is that it will help them establish responsible behaviours in a safe and moderated online environment. This makes it perfect for home or school use.

Teacher Consultant: Ideas for the Classroom

  • Set a literacy task on a series of articles which ask students to comment on the articles and/or activities. Students interact with the online world every day. By encouraging them to post on this blog you are encouraging them to incorporate quality thinking into the way they interact with the Internet.
  • Get your students to show off their creativity by asking them to design and create their own profile pic to display alongside their comments.
  • Let your students do the hard work and get them to think of ways to use the blog in the classroom. Letting your students have control of their learning will be great motivation to explore the blog and choose a fun activity to work on.

4. An Idea for the Classroom: CaSMa 13 - The Statistical Cycle (Year 7)

In this edition of Ed News, we are profiling one of our Maths lessons called 'The Statistical Cycle (Year 7).' In this lesson students learn about the different stages in conducting a survey. They use the five step statistical cycle to design an investigation by which they can analyse CensusAtSchool data. This activity will assist students to develop data awareness, communicate statistical information, and their ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information.

Need a resource to teach your students about the statistical cycle? Look no further than this terrific Data Detective Poster, courtesy of our colleagues at CensusAtSchool - New Zealand. This poster is a great visual tool for the classroom and explains the process of investigating data in a simple, step by step way that students will appreciate. This poster has been extremely popular with teachers and is free to download.

CensusAtSchool New Zealand - data detective poster

5. Competitions

The International Year of Statistics is a worldwide celebration and recognition of the importance of statistics. This is a great opportunity for teachers to show their students that statistics can be lots of fun, by encouraging them to enter one of the competitions below. From creating a statistical poster, to competing with students around the world in an online competition, maths has never been more fun!

Looking for a fun way to get your students excited about maths? World Maths Day, an initiative of the Unicef World Education Games, is back on 6 March 2013!

The World Maths Day competition was launched in 2007 to unite school students around the world with the power of the Internet. In that first year, over 287,000 students from 98 countries participated. Since then the competition has grown, with nearly 6 million students from 236 countries and territories taking part in 2012. In 2012, Australia won the Maths World Cup with over 10.2 million points! Just over 2 million students participated from 6,204 schools across the country, and nine students won medals.

Registration is free and opened on 1 February 2013. To participate, students will require access to the Internet. If you are interested in getting your students involved, and wish to raise awareness of the competition in your school, there is a flyer available. Also, the fun doesn't just stop at Maths. The World Education Games consists of three events: World Literacy Day (5 March), World Maths Day (6 March) and World Science Day (7 March), so teachers of other subjects can join in too!

The ISLP Poster Competition submission deadline has been extended to 26 April 2013! Don't miss your chance to get your students involved in this fantastic competition.

The ABS is proud to reveal the wonderful prizes on offer for the winners of the national competition. Junior students (years 5-9) who win the national competition will be the lucky recipients of a polydron magnetic shape set for the participating students' group, and a polydron magnetic shape set for their school, worth $439.78. Senior students (years 10-12) will receive 3 magnetic shape sets for the participating students' group, and a polydron magnetic shape set for their school, worth $615.56. All of this information and more can be found in the competition flyer.

To ensure we make this competition really accessible to teachers, we have developed an assessment rubric to assist teachers in assessing their students' work prior to submission.

If your students have produced outstanding work using CensusAtSchool or ABS data, we want to hear about it! Stats Quest is an ABS initiative to acknowledge and reward students' outstanding work.

Teachers can submit students' work to Education Services by using the registration form on our website, and the best examples will be published. All students whose work is submitted with receive a certificate, whether it is published or not. This is a fantastic opportunity to recognise and reward your students' work in the classroom.6. Conferences

In the latter half of 2012, the Education Services team were very busy preparing for our annual attendance at a range of education conferences.

Maths Association of Western Australia (MAWA) 2012 Annual Conference in Perth. Mary-Anne presented two sessions at the conference. The sessions took teachers on a tour of the ABS web pages, and showed them how they can use the CensusAtSchool and Education Services resources freely available on our website.

Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV) 2012 Annual Conference at La Trobe University, Bundoora. Mary-Anne and Jean presented two sessions each at the conference. Mary-Anne took teachers on a tour of the ABS web pages and discussed the CensusAtSchool and Education Services resources freely available on our website. Jean's sessions instructed teachers on basic Excel skills for creating graphs and the different formulae you can use to calculate mean, median and mode.

At both conferences we had our hands full at the trade stall, and as always, the goodie bags were a hit!

Upcoming conferences:

Keep an eye out for Education Services attending conferences in the second half of 2013. You can keep up to date between newsletters by visiting the Education Services home page.

7. Interesting Publications

Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2013 (ABS cat. no. 4125.0)
This publication introduces new data and commentary on men and women from a number of different surveys, including the 2012 Australian Health Survey, 2012 Survey of Education and Work, 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership (from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency), and several other ABS and non-ABS sources. Data cubes are available to download, with topics such as economic security, education and safety and justice, among others.

Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness, 2011 (ABS cat. no. 2049.0)
This publication takes data from the 2011 Census to explore the issue of homelessness in Australia. Areas explored in the fact sheets include youth homelessness, overcrowding, domestic and family violence, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness. There are a number of data cubes available to download, presenting the data by age, sex and location.

The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010 (ABS cat. no. 4704.0)
This publication provides data on a number of health and welfare issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Though originally published in October 2010, this publication has since been updated to include new data. Topics covered include characteristics of the Indigenous population, education, social and emotional wellbeing, health, disability, access to health and community services, and housing. Data cubes are available to download.

Australian Social Trends: Using Statistics to Paint A Picture of Australian Society (ABS cat. no. 4102.0)
This publication, released in December 2012, brings together a number of different data releases to explore the social trends in Australia. Topics covered include Australian farming and farmers, the representation of women in leadership positions, the characteristics of people departing Australia permanently, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and older carers. There are a number of data cubes available to download.

Job Search Experience, Australia, July 2012 (ABS cat. no. 6222.0)
This publication is timely considering the current focus on the state of the Australian economy. Data was collected through the Job Search Experience Survey in July 2012 as a supplement of the monthly Labour Force Survey. Data reveals the experiences of unemployed persons seeking work. Data cubes are available to download, presenting the data by age, sex and highest level of non-school qualification.

Census, 2011: 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); and the second release occurred on 30 October 2012. The third release will begin on 28 March 2013 and conclude at the end of 2013. The third release (supplementary data) relates to the dissemination of highly specialised products. 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 on the Statistics by Release Date webpage.

8. 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 of ABS data in their classroom. When you subscribe you will be notified of each new edition as it is published.