Statistics for Action

Website that provide quality teaching and learning in math and science using data.
Resource URL:
Author(s): 
TERC
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
TERC
National Science Foundation
Published: 
2013
Product Type: 
Abstract: 

Statistics for Action (SfA) is a project based at TERC, a not-for-profit educational research organization based in Cambridge, MA with funding from the National Science Foundation (grant DRL-0812954). 

The materials in SfA can help groups and individuals:
• Understand basic terms, units, and concepts in environmental data
• Analyze data and claims critically to find the story behind the data
• Assess risks to health from environmental contamination
• Communicate findings from data clearly to others

Statistics for Action activities are organized by four topics: Understanding, Anaylzing, Assessing Risk, and Communicating.

Each topic has:

• an overview detailing all the activities and when to use them
• a 60-90 minute workshop called A First Look at... that introduces ideas and help groups prioritize 
• shorter 15-30 minute activities focused on a particular idea or skill 
• Spanish versions of many participant materials

Activities work in many settings:
• at a community meeting to meet group goals
• with a smaller group of leaders, to build understanding before a meeting
• to explore ideas covered in an SfA guide
• at a staff training or environmental conference
• in a class or study circle, to engage adults or youth

These faciliator guides each provide a narrative overview of some aspect of environmental quality. Each describes an environmental process, advice about what to look out for, and how communities can be involved.

Benefits and Uses: 

The SfA website includes workshops and activities can be used by anyone, with no special training. The materials adapt for different community situations and skill levels. Most activities have participant materials in both English and Spanish. 
SfA also has magazine-style guides to build understanding of environmental processes like soil and water quality testing and 
remediation. Also available in Spanish.

The project also created a set of videos on a range of topics, which give a quick overview of an concept; longer videos explore a community story to show the way different concepts link together.

One issue of the education magazine The Change Agent was written by the SfA team, the focus was on Staying Safe in a Toxic World. It features 52 pages of environmental stories and data. Activities and discussions are also included, to strengthen the math and science connections. SfA can even be used by classroom teachers, to build student skills using a compelling story 
with real environmental data. 

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