CensusAtSchool makes statistics fun, Oct 2005

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CensusAtSchool makes statistics fun

CensusAtSchool, a new national learning project which will involve thousands of school students throughout Australia, was launched at the Melbourne Museum today.

School students from Years 5 to 12 will take part in the Internet-based project which will show students that statistics can be fun as well as educational.

CensusAtSchool aims to increase statistical literacy amongst students and open their minds to the possibility of future careers in statistics. It has the strong backing of both public and private educational bodies in all States and Territories.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Chris Pearce, who launched CensusAtSchool, said the voluntary project worked like a mini census. Students taking part would answer a questionnaire. Then, under the guidance of their teachers, students would be able to selectively tap into the gathered data for their own research purposes.

"Data samples can be used for teaching and learning across a whole range of key learning areas, particularly mathematics," Mr Pearce said.

Students from Regency Park Primary School and Caroline Springs College gave demonstrations of how the project worked at the launch.

The keynote address was given by well-known media personality, Adam Spencer. He emphasised the relevance of statistics to the school students and how much enjoyment statistics could provide.

The Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin, also officiated. "Statistics are vital in helping students make sensible and informed decisions, whatever their future occupation may be," he said.

More information about the project is available on the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au. Click on the link to CensusAtSchool.

CensusAtSchool will be conducted in Australian schools in the lead up to the August 8, 2006 Census of Population and Housing.