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Kiwi students share their views on life in CensusAtSchool 2023

CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa celebrates the launch of their eleventh biennial survey today to once again comprehensively chart students’ views of their own lives. The large national survey will give another intriguing glimpse into school students’ lives.

Thousands of primary, intermediate, and secondary school students around the country will share their views on issues as wide-ranging as their favourite ice cream flavour, the amount of time they spend on digital devices, whether or not they have blocked someone in the past week, opinions on alcohol, how many close friends they have, how happy they say they are overall, and their favourite sport to play.

The students are taking part in CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa, a non-profit, online educational project that aims to bring statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. It is run by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Stats NZ.

Supervised by teachers, students from years 3-13 anonymously answer questions in English or te reo Māori on digital devices. Some questions involve practical activities such as measuring the length of their feet and weighing their laden school bags.

The eleventh biennial edition of CensusAtSchool is expected to have the highest number of schools, teachers, and students participating. More than 40,000 schoolchildren are expected to participate in CensusAtSchool this year. As of launch this morning, approximately 1,700 teachers from 900 schools had already registered.

Co-director Rachel Cunliffe says, “We’re passionate about getting real, relevant data about New Zealand students into their hands so that they can grow their data science superpower skills.”

Rachel Cunliffe, a former University of Auckland statistics lecturer who now runs a digital design company, says teachers are always looking for rich cross-curricular classroom activities.

Anne Patel, Professional Teaching Fellow and co-director says, “It’s so important that students experience every aspect of collecting and working with data, as they learn how data can be used to inform. Students are learning that data is all around us and they can “see” themselves in the data to get a real feel for patterns and variation.  The experience helps students see the importance of statistics in today’s world – and they love finding out what other students are thinking and doing.”

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people.

Preview the questions and see which schools are taking part on CensusAtSchool’s website.