Statistics New Zealand Guidelines for using Statistics in projects

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					Statistics New Zealand Guidelines for using Statistics in projects
Statistics New Zealand is the country's national statistical agency and the major source of official
statistics. Statistics New Zealand looks for best practice and innovation in its own work and is
delighted to support the work of young New Zealanders who seek to do the same through their
participation in "Realise the Dream".

Students who are using Statistics in a project which has been nominated for Realise the Dream
need to demonstrate skills in statistical thinking at every stage of their investigation. The
"Mathematics and Statistics" strand in The New Zealand Curriculum (2007)
(http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum) requires students to use the
Statistical Enquiry Cycle. This has five stages: Problem, Plan, Data, Analyse, Conclusion
(PPDAC).

The list below is a guide to assist students and teachers in working through the process of
applying statistical skills to their investigations. It closely follows the Statistical Enquiry Cycle.

Judges will look for statistical graphs that show all the data. They will use the graphics to check
methods, models and conclusions for the data. They will also assess how variation in the data is
treated.

This list may be useful as a guide for students preparing for Regional Science and Technology
Fairs.

Activity in a project with these features is likely to fit well with:
• The Statistics strand in the Mathematics and Statistics learning area of The New Zealand
    Curriculum (2007).
• The Understanding, Investigating, Communicating, Participating and Contributing parts of the
    Science learning area of The New Zealand Curriculum (2007).
• Investigations in Technology, Social Sciences and other learning areas of The New Zealand
    Curriculum(2007)

Students will need to work though some or all of the following actions:

Problem
• State the purpose of their investigation.
• Pose questions suitable for a scientific investigation.
• Define the variables that come from the experiment or survey.

Plan
• Design an experiment or a survey that fits this purpose. The design should aim to be
   representative and to avoid bias. Issues such as replication and randomisation in
   experiments, and having a sufficient sample size, should be addressed. An existing
   administrative, experimental or survey dataset may be used as a source of data.
   (The dataset may be recent or historical. Some suitable datasets can
   be found at www.stats.govt.nz, www.censusatschool.org.nz or
   elsewhere).

Data
• Locate and use external sources of information that support the
   investigation.
• Define the variables that come from this experiment or survey.
• Carry out the experiment or survey.
• Record notable features of the process.
•   Edit, clean and assemble the dataset.

Analyse
• Explore the dataset, to find and where possible explain variability:
   relationships and patterns, trends, and departures from these.
• Use appropriate graphical or other statistical procedures to explore the dataset. (Students
   should show understanding of the advantages and limitations of the analysis methods that
   they choose).
• Relate their findings to established scientific ideas.

Conclude
• Report the results of the investigation as prescribed in the 'Realise the Dream' requirements.
• Use graphs to reveal the variability (patterns and departures from patterns) in their data.
• Use words, numbers and graphs working together to communicate the findings from their
   data.
• Discuss the value of the investigation in its context.
• State conclusions that are related to the purpose for the investigation. The conclusions
   should identify any aspects of the investigation that could be improved and any additional
   aspects of the problem which need to be investigated.