ENGAGING SCHOOL STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS WITH THE PRACTICE OF STATISTICS
Keywords:Statistics education, National statistics program, STEM education
This paper describes a national statistics-oriented project-based learning activity, which has been delivered annually for five years in Australia and the outcomes of a particular collaboration of this initiative with the discipline of environmental sustainability. The national initiative engages primary- and secondary-school students from varied backgrounds and education levels in quantitative-based investigations. It develops key future workplace skills aligned with national school-curriculum outcomes and motivates students by enabling them to take the lead, determine the context, collaborate, investigate, and create. An underlying delivery model connects primary- and secondary-school students with tertiary educators, industry, and the practice of statistics. A pre-post cross-sectional study revealed significant improvements in students’ and teachers’ confidence with, and awareness of, the field of statistics. Australian school teachers are saying, “21st Century learning at its best” and “motivates and engages students.” Industry mentors are saying, “provides students a unique opportunity.” Students are saying, “engaging, educational and enjoyable.” The activity has engaged some eighty schools, and annually several hundred students participate.
First published February 2020 at Statistics Education Research Journal Archives