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ERIC Number: EJ1046136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Demystifying Data
Dash, Carolyn; Hug, Barbara
Science Teacher, v81 n8 p51-56 Nov 2014
We constantly encounter data--in the form of graphs--that convey information about weather, medicine, politics, finances, and nutrition. These graphs are intended to help us visualize data for easy interpretation; however, approximately 41% of adults in the United States have low graph literacy (Galesic and Garcia-Retamero 2011). In this article, the authors describe an activity that they created to help students: (1) integrate and evaluate multiple graphs to answer questions; (2) choose and interpret units in graphs; and (3) analyze and interpret data. In this activity, students use Google Trends and climate-change data to understand patterns in basic time-series graphs. The activity aligns with several areas of the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States 2013) and "Common Core State Standards" (NGAC and CCSSO 2010). The authors originally created this activity for a high school teacher workshop. Most participants used the activity the following year and reported that it not only enabled students to better grasp basic graphing concepts but also allowed them to apply these skills and vocabulary to interpreting real geoscience data. Climate change is too complex for students to fully understand with one or two graphs, but by explaining the strengths and weaknesses of any one piece of evidence, teachers can help students reach their own views about this topic. This activity also enables students to grasp data patterns and inevitably results in students suggesting search terms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0816610