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Education News - May, 2013
A word from the editor
Welcome to the Term 2 edition of Ed News!
In the spirit of UN World Environment Day on 5 June, the theme for this edition is Environment and Sustainability.
In this edition, we explore the theme of sustainability through the Household Energy Use and Costs article from the Australian Social Trends, Sep 2012 publication. I thought this article might be a great way for teachers to start a conversation with their students about their opinions on environmental issues and energy conservation. In fact, in CensusAtSchool News, you will find 2012 CensusAtSchool data on this very topic.
Continuing our environmental theme, I thought this would be a great opportunity to give you some ideas for how you can incorporate this topic into your students' learning. In 'An Idea for the Classroom,' we are profiling CaSMa 11 Environmental Graphs. I have also found some resources that I hope will encourage students to start thinking about the relationship between maths and the environment. To find out more, check out the 'Resources for Teachers' section.
The ISLP Poster Competition is now closed and the winners of the national competition have been notified. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers that encouraged their students to participate. More information about the winning poster can be found in the 'ISLP Poster Competition Update' section of this newsletter.
For additional 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 May 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.
1. CensusAtSchool News
Questionnaire closes 19 July! We have now officially passed the half way point of the 2013 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire cycle. I encourage all teachers, whose students haven't yet completed the questionnaire, to do so soon to ensure your students don't miss out.
What do Australian students think about environmental issues? Australian students have consistently demonstrated their awareness of environmental issues in the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire. Some interesting statistics from the 2012 questionnaire include:
These statistics are sourced from our 2012 Interesting Statistics. Our Interesting Statistics are a great entry point to CensusAtSchool data, providing a quick and easy analysis summary. Interesting statistics for previous CensusAtSchool questionnaires can also be found on our website.
Complete CensusAtSchool environmental data can be found in the Summary Tables and National Time Series Tables. The tables show data results at the State/Territory level as well as Australia as a whole. Alternatively, if you'd like your students to be more hands on and find their own data, why not try the Random Sampler? The Sampler is a fantastic tool that makes it easy for students to collect data samples according to their own chosen search parameters.
2. Australian Social Trends: Household Energy Use and Costs, Sep 2012
The environment, climate change, pricing carbon, and even the cost of electricity, have become topics of everyday conversation and importance for Australians in recent years.
In the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire students are asked what actions they take in their home to conserve the environment, and how they rate the importance of environmental issues. In 2012, 51 per cent of Australian students conserved power by switching off appliances at the power point. Reducing energy usage was consistently important to students across all States and Territories, with the ACT revealing the highest median level in the data.
So now that we know that students are interested in the environment, why not help them explore this issue further? The Household energy use and costs article from the Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) publication offers an interesting insight into the way Australians are implementing energy saving practices, as well as other information such as current household energy use and costs.
How to find the article:
Image 1 - Using the Google Search Bar type 'Household energy use and costs' and click on the search button.
Image 2 - The article will appear as the first search result. Click the title to access the publication.
Image 3 - On the page you are directed to, you will be able to read the article in full.
Teacher Consultant: Ideas for the Classroom
3. An Idea for the Classroom: CaSMa 11 Environmental Graphs
In this edition of Ed News, we are profiling one of our lessons, CaSMa 11 Environmental Graphs.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the concept of deviation from the mean. Students use CensusAtSchool summary data from each state to compare environmental issues. Students then take the mean environmental issue from each state and territory to calculate how issues in each deviate from the mean. This activity will encourage students to broaden their data awareness and ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information.
Do you have a classroom idea that uses ABS data or ABS Education products? I encourage teachers to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share your idea with schools around Australia.
4. Resources For Teachers
Education Services Datasets! Education Services' datasets have been updated. Accessible via our home page, the new datasets are organised into four categories: Economy, Society and Community, Population and Environment and Energy.
Education Services has also used this opportunity to improve resource accessibility for teachers. Datasets can now be either viewed directly on our web pages on a single, easy to navigate page, or downloaded as a single Excel file. Some datasets are linked to lessons or interactive graphs to enhance your students' learning, and Australian Curriculum codes are coming soon. These are just some of the things we are doing to make our resources as teacher friendly as possible.
Mathematics of Planet Earth! This exciting program is being run by the Australian Maths and Science Institute (AMSI) to spread the word about the role of maths and statistics in understanding the challenges of our world.
This program is a great opportunity for teachers to show their students the importance of Maths in understanding our planet. There are a number of Classroom Resources available that use real world examples for your students to sink their teeth into, such as pollution levels in Beijing. The website also hosts Classroom Activities from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Geoscience Australia and NASA, so planning lessons for your students will be a breeze.
Science Week (August 11-18) is still a little while away, but that doesn't mean you can't register your students for an exciting activity now! Over two thousand years ago a man called Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth. Now, two thousand years later, students across Australia will do the same in an experiment called 'Shadows of Eratosthenes.'
The experiment aims to measure the circumference of the earth using a pole, a spirit level, the sun and some trigonometry just like Eratosthenes did. To participate in the experiment, teachers will need to register their students. Schools from all around Australia will then be paired up to conduct the experiment during Science Week. This is an exciting opportunity for students to conduct a real experiment using Maths with their peers across Australia.
5. ISLP Poster Competition Update
The ISLP poster competition is now closed and the winner has been chosen! The successful poster from the junior division is going on to the international phase of the competition. Unfortunately no entries were received for the senior division.
And the winners are.... Isha Singh (Karratha SHS), Chani Guldenhuys (John Curtin College of the Arts) and Tim Cusens (Jurien DHS)!
The students submitted a poster titled 'Project Sunflower: How climate, water and fertilizer affects sunflower growth in Western Australia.' Students investigated how different variables affected sunflower growth.
The poster submitted by these students is even more impressive when you consider that they all attend separate schools and are separated by over 1,600 kilometres.
Congratulations once again to Isha, Chani and Tim for creating such a fantastic statistical poster.
ESU will be presenting at the AAMT Biennial Conference 2013 this year. Our specialist teacher consultant Vivienne McQuade will be presenting a workshop about the importance of teaching statistics and the Australian Curriculum. The workshop will profile ABS resources. The conference is being held at the University of Melbourne on 10-13 July 2013.
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
Remember: all ABS publications are free to download from the ABS website.
8. Contact Details
How to contact ABS Education Services
Free Call: 1800 623 273
Mail: GPO Box 2796
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.
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