Data literacy in schools

Data literacy with Tableau
Data Literacy with Tableau

It was data literacy meets biosecurity at the recent launch of The Bees with Backpacks program at the Ballarat Tech School.  The Bees with Backpacks program is an educational extension of the CSIRO’s Global Initiative for Honey bee Health (GIHH), an international collaboration to research bee health and help secure crop pollination. 

Remarkably, the project involves the ‘gluing’ of micro sensors to selected bees to track their movements in and out of their hives.  We now have our first backpacked bees in Ballarat, hosted by local bee champions Amanda and Scott from Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat.

Data Literacy for school students

Perceptive Data is excited to be part of the challenge, and are engaged by the Ballarat Tech School to design the data literacy component of the Bees with Backpacks project.  This is our first dive into bringing Tableau into secondary education! (Tableau is a leader in the Business Intelligence space)

Students learn the framework of data literacy, which in succinct terms, includes the collection, preparation, visualisation and analysis of data. 

At Friday’s launch by Victoria’s Parliamentary Secretary for Schools, Mr Tim Richardson,¬†representative students from partner schools engaged in their first data literacy session at the Ballarat Tech School.

Visual analysis with Tableau

After acquainting themselves with ‘raw’ csv data, I led the students on the process of preparing data for a Tableau visual analysis.¬† Perceptive Data pre-designed a number of Bees with Backpacks Tableau Dashboards and it was impressive to see the students readily exploring the visualisations. The students drew insights from the bee movement patterns, inferring relationships between bee activity and weather conditions.

Using Tableau is a real step-up from the traditional pen and paper graphs of the secondary classroom and has the potential to engage students to a new level in data analytics.

..and to cater for the different learning styles, specifically bodily-kinaesthetic, the students acted as bees and antennas to simulate the data capture process. This acted as a prelude to understanding the building of our raw data files.

Tableau density plot of bees with backpacks data
Students explored a Tableau density plot to reveal times of highest activity

The Bees with Backpacks data will be further enhanced in the coming weeks and is set to become a key component of the upcoming ‘A World of Data’ program at the Ballarat Tech School. Using a set of local industry data sets, students will be empowered to perform analysis using Tableau, and reveal real industry insights.

Data literacy is a major focus of Perceptive Data for building capacity in organisations and providing stimulating data literacy education in schools and universities.

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