Learning resources bulletin - October 2011

Dear teachers,

This bulletin highlights the latest free information and teaching materials available on Statistics Canada’s Learning resources website.

In this issue:

Camcorder.New video tutorials for students

The first four tutorials from a seven part series So you have to do a data project! A step-by-step student guide to finding data, are now available. An experienced teacher offers insider information including advice on topic ideas, search tips and how to find and download data from the StatCan website. Designed for individual or classroom use, don’t miss these helpful video tutorials that get data projects off to a good start!

Canadian students win gold in international competition

Holly Ayles and Emily Baxter. Photo courtesy of The Daily Gleaner, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Holly Ayles and Emily Baxter.
Photo courtesy of The Daily Gleaner, Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Our thanks go to teachers Ann Deane from Bliss Carman Middle School in Fredericton New Brunswick and to Jason Niven from Webster Academy in Calgary Alberta for encouraging their students to enter the International Statistical Literacy Poster Competition held in Dublin Ireland, August 21 to 26, 2011. Their students scored exceptionally well winning first and third prizes from over 5,000 student posters received from 17 countries.

The poster La Pollution Lumineuse (French only), submitted by New Brunswick Grade 8 students Emily Baxter and Holly Ayles won first prize in the age category 12 to 14 years. Emily and Holly collected data to prove or disprove their question on the environment: is there light pollution in and around the small village of New Maryland? As explained in their poster, ‘light pollution is artificial light that is bothersome or excessive. One quarter of the world’s electricity is used for light. An estimated 30% to 60% of the light we use is unnecessary. Many people have the mistaken impression that light does not affect the environment. However, light has many negative effects on the environment, animals and even humans.’

Using an instrument borrowed from the Royal Astronomical Society that measures the quality of the sky (IQC) and reports light magnitudes in arc seconds squared and the temperature, they gathered 47 samples of primary data on three evenings in January 2011.

That’s the dedication and creativity that impressed the international judges along with the excellent analysis and appropriate choice of scatter plots, bar graphs and circle graphs to visually display their data results. It was obvious that these two students had spent a great deal of time learning the steps of data collection, analysis and display.

The poster Black Gold and Alberta’s Rivers by Calgary student Cecilia Wright won third prize in her age category 15 to 18.

See the winners of the 2011 International statistical poster competition

Is it worth completing university?

Let your students know how educational attainment may impact their earnings.

Earnings of university graduates were 70% higher on average than graduates of high school or trade/vocational programs in Canada in 2008.

In 2009, Canada's employment rate for adults aged 25 to 64 who had not completed secondary education was 55%. The rate for graduates of college and university programs was 82%.

Between 1999 and 2009, the proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 who had a college diploma or a university degree rose from 39% to 50% in Canada.

See Fast facts – Education for updated data on employment prospects in Canada for university/college graduates vs. secondary school graduates.

Featured lesson: Provincial showdown

Suitable for geography, business studies and consumer education classes at the intermediate and secondary levels, this lesson gets students involved in team work to research and develop a presentation on a particular province or territory, to convince companies that their province provides the best possible investment environment. This lesson includes a precise list of student tasks and links to Summary Tables of information on the Statistics Canada website that highlight by province, economic conditions, population and labour, education, crime and justice statistics. A great and interactive way to learn about Canada while enhancing skills in research, presentation and team building!

Census at School logo.Census at School project opens for school year 2011/2012

The Census at School online questionnaires are now available. The project runs until June 22, 2012.

Since 2003, Census at School has been providing teachers with an exciting tool for engaging their students in project-based mathematical learning within a social studies context. Teachers like Julie Hearn give the project top marks. ‘I have been participating in the Census at School program for the last two years, and love it! I use it to do an entire unit on data analysis. My students look back on this as one of their most favourite parts of the year.’

Why not get your class involved at the start of the school year and use your class data throughout the year as applicable.

New Census at School brochures are now available that include a fold out poster for your classroom featuring the You are the Researcher lesson. Students are directed to:

  1. Complete the online Census at School questionnaire
  2. Analyze class results for a selected question
  3. Display your data using three types of graphs
  4. Choose which graph best displays the data

For a free copy of the brochure send your school’s full mailing address to Angela.Mccanny@statcan.gc.ca.