What do Kiwi children think is the best thing about living in New Zealand? What would they do to make it a better place to live? What do they do online? How much are they spending on their cell phones? What do they eat for breakfast? What time do they go to bed? These questions and more are posed in the popular CensusAtSchool, and the results promise a unique insight into what New Zealand’s 10 to 18 year olds are thinking, feeling and doing.
Starting 13 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.”
CensusAtSchool has previously been run in 2003 and 2005 and this latest snapshot will enable children to compare themselves with data from the last two surveys.
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 13 August until 30 September.
More than 1,150 teachers have already registers their classes to take part with more signing up daily.