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Meet Jessica, Jessica is fictional, but according to the most frequent responses from the 2005 CensusAtSchool survey Jessica starts the day with toast and a glass of milk for breakfast. She lives in Auckland and shares the house with three other people. Surprisingly, it takes Jessica less than 10 minutes to get to school by car. Jessica knows what she wants for Christmas, even more than money or an Ipod, she wants to upgrade her cell phone. She is 13 years old and currently in Year 9 at school. She brings her lunch from home and plays netball. There is much more of interest about Jessica, but telling you now would spoil all the surprises.
About CensusAtSchool:

CensusAtSchool is an online survey for Year 5 to Year 10 students that provides real, relevant data to enhance statistical enquiry across the curriculum. CensusAtSchool NZ is hosted by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in association with Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Education. It is a non-profit, educationally motivated project.

Schools take part voluntarily, with students completing the survey during lesson time, and then submitting their data to contribute to an international database, which includes information on children from Australia, England, Canada and South Africa. Some questions are in common with the other countries, to provide comparisons between countries, while the remainder of the questions are tailored to reflect the interests of New Zealand children. Data and classroom resources are now available for schools. More resources are currently being developed by a team of maths teachers.
A selection of CensusAtSchool survey results:
Respondents

33,000 students took the opportunity to stand up and be counted in this years online survey, an increase of more than 15,000 from CensusAtSchool 2003. Over 2,000 teachers registered their classes nationwide.

Tables summarising participation follow:

Age No. of Respondents
6 11
7 17
8 98
9 2379
10 4525
11 4928
12 5511
13 6744
14 6675
15 2201
16 81
17 35
Region No. of Respondents
Northland Region 828
Auckland Region 13889
Waikato Region 3463
Bay of Plenty Region 1326
Manawatu-Wanganui Region 1682
Taranaki Region 501
Gisborne Region 294
Hawkes Bay Region 719
Wellington Region 4018
Nelson-Marlborough Region 734
West Coast Region 215
Canterbury Region 3027
Otago Region 1917
Southland Region 592

Technology

In the last two years cell phone ownership has increased dramatically more than doubling for 9 -10 year-olds. By age 14, a massive 84% of the children surveyed have their own cell phones

Phone ownership by age

Age 2003 2005 Percent Increase
9 10% 22% 120%
10 13% 29% 123%
11 23% 44% 91%
12 33% 59% 79%
13 51% 76% 49%
14 59% 84% 42%

RSI by 15?

70% of respondents who owned a cell phone sent text messages the previous day, with almost a quarter of them sending over 50. The median monthly expenditure was $20 with 1 in 5 spending over $50. Almost half the children have their own TV and just over a quarter have their own MP3 player. Levels of access to the internet however do not appear to have changed over the past 2 years.

Lifestyle

Students were asked about many aspects of their daily life, and many interesting facts came to light.

There are big changes in lunch time activity levels as children advance through the school system. At Year 5, 80% report their main lunchtime activity as running around and playing. This drops to around 60% at intermediate school age and plunges to a little over 20% in high school. By Year 10 the main “activity” is either sitting or standing around. Overall, 40% of students are driven to school by car while only 1 in 4 walked. A further quarter took public transport.

Despite widespread worries about dietary changes feeding an obesity epidemic some traditional patterns still seem to be maintained. For example, the vast majority of the children still bring their lunches from home 88% at Year 5 dropping to 69% by Year 10. Bought lunches increase from 9% at Year 5 to 20% by Year 10. Whereas only 1% of the Year 5 children have no lunch, by the second year of high school 7% did not have a lunch.

Parents wondering when to send their children to bed will not get much guidance from the practices of their peers. There is a wide range of bedtimes which change only slowly with age.

The most common bedtimes are:
8pm – 9pm for 9 and 10 year olds
9pm – 10pm for 11 and 12 year olds
10pm – 11pm for 13 -15 year olds

The 10 most popular Christmas present requests were:

Girls:

1. Cell phone
2. Ipod
3. Money
4. Clothes
5. Dog
6. Car
7. Laptop
8. Horse
9. MP3 player
10. Book

Boys:

1. Money
2. Cell phone
3. Motorbike or quad-bike
4. Car
5. Playstation portable
6. Computer
7. Ipod
8. Bike
9. Playstation 2 console
10. Computer game for PS2

Data now available

Random samples from the data are available through the interactive sampler.

Data is now available for the Are you a masterpiece? resource.

Five fixed samples are available for the resource. Download the appropriate sample for the level you are teaching.

All are in CSV (Comma Separated Value) format which can be opened in Microsoft Excel, Fathom, or with other standard software.

Level English Māori
3 – 4 Sample A
Sample B
Sample A
Sample B
4 – 5 Sample A
Sample B
Sample A
Sample B
5 – 7 Sample Sample

An interactive sampler has been available since September.

An Excel spreadsheet covering age, gender, time taken to travel to school, and mode of transport can be downloaded (5MB).

Launch photos

On the morning of Tuesday 16 August, actor Shane Cortese, best known for his performances on Dancing with the Stars and Shortland Street, took part in the televised launch of CensusAtSchool NZ.

Students at St Mary’s School in Northcote were excited to meet Shane Cortese and hear what he had to say.

Shane Cortese with students and Bronwyn Weston
Shane Cortese talking with students

Shane Cortese sitting with students
Shane Cortese sitting with students

Rachel Cunliffe on Breakfast
Rachel Cunliffe talking live on Breakfast

Shane Cortese with students at St Mary's (Northcote)
Class photo, with Shane Cortese and Rachel Cunliffe

Jason Florence, Rachel Cunliffe, Bronwyn Weston, and Shane Cortese
Shane with part of the CensusAtSchool NZ team
Left to right: Jason Florence, resource writer; Rachel Cunliffe, co-director of CensusAtSchool; Bronwyn Weston, resource writer; Shane Cortese
Background: Principal of St Mary’s School Northcote and Teacher Bronya Scott

All photos by Godfrey Boehnke, The University of Auckland.

With the next population census only six months away, more than 950 New Zealand schools are taking the lead with their own census project.

CensusAtSchool New Zealand is a joint undertaking by Statistics New Zealand, the University of Auckland and the Ministry of Education. The month-long project, which kicks off at the start of Maths Week on 15 August, will involve more than 1,500 teachers around New Zealand working with students in Years 5 to 10.

Now in its third year, CensusAtSchool is part of an international initiative involving students from Canada, Australia, South Africa and Great Britain in collecting data that is relevant to their lives.

The data collected by New Zealand students will be added to an international database, providing opportunities for students to compare themselves with other students in New Zealand and in participating countries overseas. By using real information about themselves, students are more likely to engage with statistics enthusiastically. They will also be primed for the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings.

Government Statistician Brian Pink said, “This is a great undertaking by New Zealand students, and we are delighted to support a project that generates enthusiasm and learning about the value of good statistics in the lead-up to our national census in March 2006.” .Auckland schools are currently the leading participants in the project, with more than 40 percent of all schools in the Auckland region enrolled.

The New Zealand project organisers are looking to extend the project for a further year by developing teaching resources based on the data the students have collected. For more information or to enrol in CensusAtSchool, visit www.stats.govt.nz.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

Watch One News tonight!

CensusAtSchool on One News

CensusAtSchool will feature on TV One news tonight, August 11 at 6pm! Thanks to Clover Park Middle School for their help today with the filming.

Actor Shane Cortese, best known for his performances on Dancing with the Stars and Shortland Street, is getting in behind CensusAtSchool at a televised launch event on Tuesday 16 August.

Shane Cortese with students and Bronwyn Weston
Shane Cortese sitting with students

One question asked in CensusAtSchool concerns who children admire. Last time the most popular response for girls, after family members, was celebrities and for boys sports stars. A celebrity who regularly supports causes that benefit children, Shane knows the importance of investigative and data handling skills for understanding our world. Through Dancing with the Stars Shane has had recent first hand experience of how data collected from people can impact and inform us about the world we live in.

Starting 15 August, tens of thousands of children from all around New Zealand will stand up and be counted in CensusAtSchool – their own on-line children’s census sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Statistics of the University of Auckland.

When do Kiwi children go to bed? What do they do in their spare time? What do they eat and drink? How much are they spending on their cell phones? What do they want for Christmas? These questions and more are posed in the popular CensusAtSchool, and the results promise a unique insight into what New Zealand’s 10 to 15 year olds are thinking, feeling and doing.

“CensusAtSchool is about children for children”, says Malcolm Hyland of the Ministry of Education. “It is a launching pad for emerging educational efforts aimed at turning generations of students into data detectives – equipped with the tools and inclinations that will enable them to continue to make exciting and useful discoveries about their world throughout their lives and careers.”

Project spokesperson and co-director Rachel Cunliffe of the University of Auckland says: “This will be the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how New Zealand students are living their lives. The CensusAtSchool database will enable children to learn about data collection, information technology and how to make sense of data in a playground where they will continually make exciting discoveries about themselves.”

Adds Lesley Hooper, Education Manager of Statistics New Zealand: “Students are often given data that is not really relevant to them which makes it hard for them to engage in learning. Having data that is embedded in their own lives will get them enthused and wanting to learn.”

The experience, says Mrs Hooper, will help prepare the children and their families for the 2006 New Zealand Census.

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is also conducted in the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. CensusAtSchool starts in Maths Week and runs from 15 August until 16 September. Almost 1,000 New Zealand schools have already registered to take part and many more schools are expected to register through the survey period, says Ms Cunliffe.

For more information about the launch and project contact:

Rachel Cunliffe
Email: r.cunliffe@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: (09) 373 7599 extn 85237
Website: http://www.censusatschool.org.nz

CensusAtSchool on Te Kaea!

Rachel Cunliffe, Kaiwhakahaere Tatauranga

Tune in to Maori television at 7:30pm tonight for Te Kaea where CensusAtSchool will be featuring!

Thanks to everyone at Ranui Primary for their part in the filming today.

Who do Kiwi children admire? What do they do in their spare time? What do they eat and drink? How much are they spending on their cell phones? What do they want for Christmas? These questions and more are posed in the popular CensusAtSchool, and the results promise a unique insight into what New Zealand’s 10 to 15 year olds are thinking, feeling and doing.

Starting 15 August, tens of thousands of children from all around New Zealand will stand up and be counted in CensusAtSchool – their own on-line children’s census sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Statistics of the University of Auckland.

“CensusAtSchool is about children for children,” says Malcolm Hyland of the Ministry of Education. “It is a launching pad for emerging educational efforts aimed at turning generations of students into data detectives – equipped with the tools and inclinations that will enable them to continue to make exciting and useful discoveries about their world throughout their lives and careers.”

Project spokesperson and co-director Rachel Cunliffe of the University of Auckland says: “This will be the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how New Zealand students are living their lives. The CensusAtSchool database will enable children to learn about data collection, information technology and how to make sense of data in a playground where they will continually make exciting discoveries about themselves.” Adds Lesley Hooper , Education Manager of Statistics New Zealand: “Students are often given data that is not really relevant to them which makes it hard for them to engage in learning. Having data that is embedded in their own lives will get them enthused and wanting to learn.”

The experience, says Mrs Hooper, will help prepare the children and their families for the 2006 New Zealand Census.

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is also conducted in the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. CensusAtSchool starts in Maths Week and runs from 15 August until 16 September. Two weeks before the launch, more than 800 New Zealand schools have already registered to take part and more schools are signing up daily, says Ms Cunliffe.

Source:  Scoop Independent News

Who do Kiwi children admire? What do they do in their spare time? What do they eat and drink? How much are they spending on their cell phones? What do they want for Christmas? These questions and more are posed in the popular CensusAtSchool, and the results promise a unique insight into what New Zealand’s 10 to 15 year olds are thinking, feeling and doing.

Starting 15 August, tens of thousands of children from all around New Zealand will stand up and be counted in CensusAtSchool – their own on-line children’s census sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Statistics of the University of Auckland.

“CensusAtSchool is about children for children,” says Malcolm Hyland of the Ministry of Education. “It is a launching pad for emerging educational efforts aimed at tuning generations of students into data detectives – equipped with the tools and inclinations that will enable them to continue to make exciting and useful discoveries about their world throughout their lives and careers.”

Project spokesperson and co-director Rachel Cunliffe of the University of Auckland says: “This will be the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how New Zealand students are living their lives. The CensusAtSchool database will enable children to learn about data collection, information technology and how to make sense of data in a playground where they will continually make exciting discoveries about themselves.”

Adds Lesley Hooper , Education Manager of Statistics New Zealand: “Students are often given data that is not really relevant to them which makes it hard for them to engage in learning. Having data that is embedded in their own lives will get them enthused and wanting to learn.”

The experience, says Mrs Hooper, will help prepare the children and their families for the 2006 New Zealand Census.

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is also conducted in the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
CensusAtSchool starts in Maths Week and runs from 15 August until 16 September. Two weeks before the launch, more than 800 New Zealand schools have already registered to take part and more schools are signing up daily, says Ms Cunliffe.

For more information contact:
Rachel Cunliffe
Email: r.cunliffe@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: (09) 373 7599 extn 85237
Website: http://www.censusatschool.org.nz

Stand up and be counted

The nation’s school children are set to take their own census in Maths Week.

Identifying their most sought after Christmas present and revealing how much time and money is spent on texting and cell phone calls are among the range of questions school students will answer when they participate in their own census as part of Maths Week.

CensusAtSchool NZ is an online survey designed to enhance statistical literacy among eight to 15-year-olds while providing real and meaningful data for classroom activities that link into the Ministry of Education’s Numeracy Projects and can be used across the National Curriculum.

Students complete a 15-minute survey of questions relevant to their everyday lives and some that are common to their peers in Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Canada, which will allow for comparisons between countries.

Ministry senior adviser mathematics, Malcolm Hyland, says the survey provides links to a range of curriculum areas. He says it is hoped that resources developed to support the database will encourage an integrated approach that brings together topics from several learning areas such as literacy, mathematics, health, social studies, and physical education.
The Ministry and Statistics New Zealand jointly fund the project, which began in the United Kingdom in 2000 but was modelled on a 1990 trial project in New Zealand conducted by Dr Sharleen Forbes of Statistics New Zealand.

Sharleen’s paper-based children’s census involved 60,000 New Zealand primary school children who were asked about themselves, their home and school life. The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (Nottingham Trent University) then developed a similar census for British schools in the lead up to the 2001 Census.

New Zealand joined CensusAtSchool in 2003 after the University of Auckland, supported by the Royal Society through a New Zealand Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowship, set up the project.

The University of Auckland has been contracted to organise this year’s CensusAtSchool and the project’s co-director, Rachel Cunliffe, says interest is high with more schools already registered than for CensusAtSchool 2003.

Rachel says once the census is complete, New Zealand schools will be provided with summary and sample data to use as classroom resources.

She encourages schools to take advantage of the benefits offered by the project and says teachers will receive an information pack when they register before the 15 September closing date.

“All of the activities generated from the survey are fun and relevant to young people’s lives which enhances student engagement in their learning. A lot of teachers are still downloading the data and the activities generated from the 2003 CensusAtSchool survey.”

She says the survey’s questions include ones that aim to establish what information and communication technologies students own and what students have for breakfast. They survey will also allow New Zealand students to compare their day to that of students living in Australia, South Africa, Canada, or the United Kingdom.

Rachel says CensusAtSchool provides good preparation for the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings which will be offered online for the first time.

“Often it is the children in a family who will fill out an online form, and filling out a census, whether it is online or in paper form, is increasingly more likely in families where English is the second language.”

She says the CensusAtSchool survey is confidential and there is a te reo Maori option.
Lesley Hooper at Statistics New Zealand says CensusAtSchool is an excellent project for increasing awareness of what a national census is and what it is for.

She says the project also provides an excellent opportunity for Statistics New Zealand to work with the Ministry and University of Auckland to ensuring valuable resource material comes out of the survey for teachers to use in the classroom.

“Statistics New Zealand’s role is to ensure we have official statistics that everyone can access and use, therefore one of our objectives is to make sure New Zealand has a certain level of statistical literacy and by working with the statistical educators we can ensure that some of this learning will happen in schools.

“The good thing is the census is about students collecting data about themselves that they can use. They are often given data that is not really relevant to them which makes it hard for them to engage in learning. Having data that is embedded in real situations will get them enthused and wanting to learn.”

She says CensusAtSchool 2005 will prepare students well for the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings and beyond.

“It’s a great way to introduce students to the 2006 census because it gets them thinking about the importance of collecting and using data. CensusAtSchool models what we will be doing next March when people will fill out their census forms.”

* Visit www.censusatschool.org.nz for more information or to register your school. Schools can take part any time from 15 August to 15 September.
* Rachel Cunliffe can be contacted at r.cunliffe@auckland.ac.nz

Source: Education Gazette