University Of Tasmania
Introducing Statistical Variation in Year 3 in a STEM Context IJMEST Preprint 2019.pdf (1.66 MB)
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Introducing statistical variation in year 3 in a STEM context: manufacturing Licorice

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 23:36 authored by Jane WatsonJane Watson, Noleine FitzallenNoleine Fitzallen, English, L, Wright, S
As STEM education becomes more prominent at the school level, many possibilities could be suggested for beginning experiences to create a foundation for young students as they begin their journeys with respect to STEM learning. The research reported here is based on the premise that building statistical understanding will enhance young students’ learning as they engage with STEM learning experiences. This paper hence reports on an activity created to introduce students in Year 3 to the concept of statistical variation with data in a STEM-related context where variation occurs in an easily measured and realistic fashion. Students’ capabilities to appreciate the fundamental nature of statistical variation and use it for comparison in a STEM context were assessed through responses in student workbooks, to questions on an end-of-year survey, and in individual interviews. The results illustrate the beginning stages of student thinking about variation and the use of data when learning is embedded within a STEM context. They show that students can take on the idea of variation and use it in explaining their experiences with the hands-on activity, which involved comparisons of a hand-made and machine-made product


Australian Research Council


Publication title

International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology








Faculty of Education


Taylor & Francis

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group International, Journal of Mathematical Education in Sciences and Technology on 2/1/2019, available online:

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Learner and learning not elsewhere classified