Project applies statistics through surveys

Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee (right) was one of several community members interviewed Monday by Hillsboro High School math students as part of a statistical assignment developed by instructor Sharon Loewen.As part of the new set of math standards called the Common Core, Algebra 2 students at Hillsboro High School participated in a unique collaboration Monday with community members as a hand-on way to work in the area of statistics.
To accomplish that, teacher Sharon Loewen constructed a ?research project? for students involving local community members.
?My students were assigned the task of interviewing various community members and leaders to find out from them questions the community member wants to ask the parents of high school-aged students,? Loewen said.
?These questions will provide students with a chance to learn about how survey questions are constructed and formatted.?
Loewen said students will edit each question and prepare it for inclusion on a survey. Once the survey is constructed, the survey will be given to parents of high school-aged students and the data will be collected.
Data analysis will then occur, resulting in the construction of a final survey report summarizing all of the findings.
?Statistics is a part of every day life,? Loewen said. ?Many different majors in college require students to take a course called Elemen?tary Statistics, which often includes a research project.
?Exposing students to the statistical end of mathematics will benefit them not only in better state assessment scores but in preparing them for any future work with statistics.?

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