Monday, 22 October 2012

Data Week

Well this quickly turned in to data month! We started the year by collecting data from all of the students in the secondary school and some from the primary school. As mentioned ina previous post, we collected information on physical measurements, computer use, daily habits, homework, reading, religion and much much more.  The idea was that we would work towards a display of 'Who we are' in September 2012 which is now currently up in the schools reception. A gallery of photos is included below! When I say we, I mean the different subject areas in the school. We really wanted a cross curricular project that showed the relevance of data collection and analysis across the curriculum!

Who, what and why?

So the English department were keen to find out about students reading habits as students got older and the things that eventually stop people from reading. There were some interesting results that did show how reading time decreased as homework demands increased.

The French department were keen to find out about languages spoken at home and the influence this has on students. They have processed and displayed the data too!

Mr Podbury in Geography collects information every year on summer holiday travel and it is remarkable to see how far we spread out during these holidays and our collective distances travelled.

For History, we included a spot test on the student body's knowledge of world leaders with the intention to look for patterns. Actually, whilst in general students got a little better at this as they got older, we found know patterns between people from different nationalities. We also did some PSCHE/History work on discovering our political persuasion which included a lovely exercise in weighting our different views according to how strongly we felt. This is shown in a display of diamond 9 diagrams.

Students in ICT lessons collected data on there typing speeds and there were various exercises in the Primary school too. Students in maths lessons processed lots of the other data to make a variety of different 'infographic style' displays about who we are in September 2012.

Building Charts

Just recently, and as part of our whole school data project' year 7 stuendts have been exploring both bar an pie charts trying to get them to show information as clearly and as interestingly as they can! We docided that this year we were going to build these charts out of things before we drew them. We started with multilink cubes but went on to make a series of bar charts out of piles of books! See below for some pictures.

With pie charts in particular, there is something much more intuitive about actually building them and this can lead nicely in to the discussion about how we define parts of circles. Even if circles are not specified from the beginning, students often find a circle the best way to show the information which is terrific!

Building Bar charts

Building Pie charts and Bar charts out of books

Some particular examples and their observations!

This bar chart shows the number of books read in a year by different year groups going from year 7 to 13 from left to right! Whilst year 8 stand out as being in to their books it it the last two bars that really stand out with years 12 and 13 arguing that they have so little time left for reading!

That theory is backed up by this graph that shows minutes spent doing homework on a particular Thursday evening. This on goes from year 13 to 7 from left to right!

4D Scattergraphs

The current media machine is full of beautiful infographics - variations on classic graphs and clever combinations of graphs and images. The great skill as the consumer is to look beyond how attractive these graphics can be and towards what they might actually tell you! There are some super examples and one of our favourites is 'Information is beautiful!' Anyway, as part of our whole school data project, some year 11 students set about creating some of their own! The challenge they faced was to create something that was good to look at and contained as much information as possible! So here we have, the 4D Scattergraphs. They are scattergraphs of height against armspan for students in our school. One graph for girls and one for boys. The points (butterflies in the case of the girls!) get larger to denote students in different year groups and the points are coloured according to the nationality of the students.

Infographics have been a bit of a theme in recent years. have a look at 'Olympic Circles' and 'The Rice show' to see some of the activities we have done before!