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Education in the Classroom

Learning to understand and analyze data is a key step in becoming a critical thinker. For our nation’s youth to reach their full potential, they need tools, resources, and opportunities. Here at, we create the opportunities for learning, challenges for innovation, and resources for exploring the nation and the world.

Education Resources

The Department of Education’s “Federal Resources for Educational Excellence” project is a wealth of information. Selected offerings for teachers, parents and students include:

  • Helping Your Child Learn Math: activities for parents to help children (K-5th grade) have fun learning geometry, algebra, measurement, statistics, probability and other subjects (Department of Education).
  • Project Links: web-based modules for teaching advanced math methods, probability and statistics, differential equations, discrete mathematics, linear systems, and calculus (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/ National Science Foundation).
  • Collected Learning Units in Mathematics: more than 200 instructional units in arithmetic, algebra, calculus, data analysis, fractions, geometry, number theory, pre-algebra, pre-calculus, probability and statistics (National Security Agency).
  • Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications: articles, learning modules, “mathlets,” reviews of online resources, and a developers’ area (Mathematical Association of America/National Science Foundation).
  • Statistics Online Computational Resource: online aids (including interactive graphs and calculators ) for probability and statistics education, technology-based instruction, and statistical computing (UCLA, supported by multiple agencies).
  • Teaching with Data Simulations: activities to help students visualize abstract statistical concepts and see dynamic processes behind the gathering, analysis, and interpretation of statistics (Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College/National Science Foundation).
  • Data in the Classroom: curriculum guides for using real scientific data to investigate earth processes. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Other government sites offer the following:

Other resources:

  • PBS Teachers website. A search for “data” on the site resulted in 262 resources, including offline activities, interactive activities, videos and lesson plans related to data collection and analysis for K-12 students and their teachers.

The National Science Teachers association website includes an extensive (100+) assembly of free resources for science teachers:

  • Resources range from lesson plans to web-based activities to videos and more, on all aspects of science. Many include mathematics as well.
  • Microsoft in Education offers lesson plans for a variety of subjects, including math, science and social studies, all of which include lesson plans that involve data, include creating a generation-gap survey and tracking and analyzing the resulting data; researching acid rain their state; and charting the effects of earthquakes on buildings.
  • Teaching Ideas is a website for teachers working with children ages 5-11 created by U.K. primary school teacher Mark Warner, and includes a page with resources for teaching about databases and spreadsheets.
  • Infant Resources: This site is a compendium of teaching resources for elementary schoolchildren assembled by U.K.-based Claire Cook (who provides no biographical information). The “Data Handling” page includes real-world games and lessons.
  • A Canadian site,“Math Lessons Today”, includes games and worksheets for elementary schoolchildren.
  • Sites for Teachers, lists sites for all K-12 levels on all topics, ranked by popularity, the site claims.
  • Watch Know lists 158 videos for kids in its “Probability and Statistics” category, including 37 under “data analysis.”

K-12 Education is also working with the International Science and Engineering Fair to bring as a research tool and resource to K-12 students across the globe as they create, innovate, and learn about science through their research and in their schools. At this year’s International Fair in Los Angeles on May 8-13, will be making resources available for kids to explore, learn, and analyze government data, and encourage them to create apps and views of that data.

This year also continues their sponsorship of the USA Science and Engineering Festival. At last year’s event on the Mall in Washington, D.C. 5,000 students explored datasets ranging from health to energy through apps and mashups that made learning fun.

Universities in the Classroom highlights 11 universities and colleges across America that are using the information and lessons of to help future generations learn about government data, how to use it, and help create the apps that enable others to do so as well.

Shout Out to Teachers

Using in the classroom? Created a cool app? Developed a lesson plan?

Tell us your story, let us feature your class, let us come to your school!