K-6 Math in the News: Censuses, Counting People and Math
The Australian Federal Government recently conducted a survey; have you completed your form yet? Or are you waiting to see whether the Australian Bureau of Statistics website gets attacked again?
The recent national census really caught the attention of the Australian populace, mostly for all the wrong reasons. The official website couldn’t cope with the traffic to the site on “census night”, which was entirely predictable, and at the same time it was subjected to several “Denial of Service” (DOS) attacks.
But apart from that, what can we teach children about censuses? Here are a few ideas:
- Governments use censuses to find out how and where to spend money on schools, hospitals, rail lines and highways
- School math includes taking surveys, collecting data and analysing the results, just like in a census
- Jesus was born in Bethlehem partly as a result of a census conducted by the Romans
- People expect survey-takers and governments conducting censuses to protect their privacy
What do you think?
Do you have favourite activities for teaching children about statistics? Share a comment below.
- Main article (Sydney Morning Herald): Code Red: How the Bureau of Statistics bungled the 2016 census
- Sydney Morning Herald: Trolling the census: How the ABS knows if you’re lying
- Business Insider Australia: The Australian Census website is finally back online
- Yahoo 7: Discount Census debacle cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars
- News.com.au: IBM servers for Australian Census 2016 miscalculated level of demand in a short space of time
- Sky News Australia: No data lost during census website failure
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