About Census at School

Welcome to U.S. Census at School, an international classroom project that engages students in grades 4–12 in statistical problemsolving. Students complete a brief online survey, analyze their class census results, and compare their class with random samples of students in the United States and other countries.

This international program began in the United Kingdom in 2000 to promote statistical literacy in schoolchildren by using their own real data. The program is operative in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Japan, and now the United States. The U.S. component of Census at School is hosted by the American Statistical Association's Education Outreach Program and cosponsored by partner Population Association of America.

Under the direction of their teachers, students in grades 4–12 anonymously complete an online questionnaire, thus submitting the data to a national database. The questions ask about such things as the length of their right foot, height, favorite subject in school, and how long it takes them to get to school. Thirteen questions are common to every country participating in Census at School, but each country adds its own questions specific to the interests of its students. Periodically, the national data from the 13 common questions go to an international database maintained in the UK.

To complete the online class survey, each student will need approximately 15–20 minutes of Internet access. After students have answered the survey, their teacher will have immediate access to their class results. These are used to teach statistical concepts, measurement, data analysis, and graphing, as well as to explore social concepts. Students can compare their class data with random samples from other students around the country and with random samples of responses from the international database.

To teach measurement, data analysis, and statistics, teachers in all participating countries not only can extract the Census at School data submitted by their own students, but they can also obtain a random sample of data from other students-either students from their own country or from all participating countries. Students can engage in statistical problemsolving by formulating questions of interest that can be answered with the data, collecting and selecting the appropriate data, analyzing the data, and making appropriate conclusions in context. The statistical problemsolving process across different levels is described in the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Report: A Pre-K–12 Curriculum Framework.

Census at School also helps raise students' awareness of civic duty. They learn about the importance of the U.S. Census being taken every 10 years to provide essential information for planning education, health, transportation, and many other services.

Census at School survey results are not used for research purposes, and serve only as tools for teaching and learning. See the Privacy Statement for more information. The online survey does not collect personal identifiable information from participating students, such as names, addresses, identification numbers, or school information. U.S. Census at School responses are maintained on a secure database controlled by the American Statistical Association. Only teachers have direct access to their own class census results through the use of a password. Before students submit their survey responses online, we recommend teachers review their school Internet safety guidelines.

The online survey questions and materials have been adapted from the International Census at School survey questions and materials and those of the other participating countries, available through www.censusatschool.com.

To get started, review the Participant Instructions under the Teacher Section link on the homepage.

Your school's participation is free and completely voluntary. Thank you for participating in Census at School - United States!