Survey says? Who says?

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Note: Teachers, see Teacher’s notes

ImageThe following activity allows you to consider the types of information that you can and cannot conclude from survey results.

Average heights of 12-year-old Canadian students, by province

Province/territory Height (cm)
Newfoundland and Labrador 156.5
Prince Edward Island 158.9
Nova Scotia 156.7
New Brunswick 151.5
Quebec 155.2
Ontario 155.2
Manitoba 157.8
Saskatchewan 154.9
Alberta 150.6
British Columbia 153.6
Source: Census at School, 2003-2004

As a group, discuss which of the following statements you can support using only the survey results shown in the table above. If you decide that you cannot support a statement, indicate why not and state what additional survey information you would need to support the statement.

Statements for consideration

  1. On average, 12-year-old students in British Columbia are shorter than 12-year-old students in Nova Scotia.
  2. On average, 12-year-old boys in Manitoba are taller than 12-year-old boys in Alberta.
  3. On average, students in Newfoundland and Labrador are taller than students in Quebec.
  4. On average, 12-year-old students who live in Toronto are taller than 12-year-old students in Moncton.
  5. On average, 12-year-old students from Alberta are the shortest students in Canada.

Contributed by Florence Glanfield and Janelle Tang, University of Saskatchewan.

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