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Census Bureau Updates Statistics in Schools Program

1 January 2017 127 views No Comment

The U.S. Census Bureau unveiled its newly updated Statistics in Schools program for K–12 teachers and students in September. Using current and historical data, the Census Bureau provides teachers the tools to help students understand statistical concepts and improve their data analysis skills. The program offers free online activities and other resources in geography, history, math, and sociology.

Over the past two years, Census Bureau subject-matter experts sought the expertise of teachers, education standards experts, and other professionals from across the country to help redesign the program to meet changing classroom needs. Launched initially for the 2000 Census as Census in Schools in partnership with Scholastic, the program aimed to help students better understand the once-a-decade census and the importance of being counted. The new evergreen program provides teachers with searchable activities by grade, school subject, and topic, each aimed at helping increase statistical literacy.

“The Census Bureau is proud to have worked with educators from across the nation on activities that will help increase the statistical literacy of America’s youth,” Census Bureau Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Nancy Potok said. “Understanding the value behind the numbers that measure our changing society will help the future leaders of tomorrow learn how to make data-driven decisions that shape communities for generations to come.”

The Census Bureau plans to add Statistics in Schools activities and resources throughout the summer, totaling more than 100 for the upcoming 2016–2017 school year. Activities include “The Progressives and the 1920 Census” for high-school history classes, “An Analysis of the Millennial Generation“ for high-school sociology classes, “Two-Way Tables—Walking and Bicycling to Work“ for middle-school math classes, and “Changes in My State” for elementary math classes.

“These activities provide teachers with opportunities to teach statistical concepts and data analysis skills to students in various subjects—not just math,” said Roxy Peck, California Polytechnic State University professor emerita of statistics. Peck served as a subject-matter expert for the middle- and high-school math activities. “The need for statistically literate citizens continues to grow as we become a more data-driven society.”

In addition to downloadable activities and games, teachers can access the following resources on the Statistics in Schools website:

  • Videos
  • Infographics and data visualizations
  • Information to help teachers explain 
Census Bureau data to students
  • Searchable data access tools

For more information, visit the Statistics in Schools website.

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