Pedestrian Safety for Students Lesson 5: Collecting and Collating the Data An Introduction to Spreadsheets
##### Lesson 6: Our Projects

1. Using the data we collected from our walkable survey, we created a spreadsheet. On a large screen, I taught the students the very basics of creating a spreadsheet. Small groups of students took turns calling out the responses to our survey. I entered the "data" onto the sheet and other students checked for accuracy. We realized that there were some serious flaws in the method we used to collect this information. This was discussed with the students as we recorded the information onto one group document. Some students had not answered all of the questions. How would this affect the outcome? Though we had specified the area to be used for the survey, there were still tremendous variations. Did this compromise the data?
QUESTION: Why did we put the data onto a spreadsheet?
Being a Scientist isn't simple, is it?

This is a wonderful spreadsheet tutorial for teachers and students. It is easy to follow and comprehensive. It provides tutorials for Appleworks (which we use at our school) and Excel. I suggest that once you've collected your data, you allow time for the students to review this lesson using this tutorial.
http://t3.k12.hi.us/t302-03/tutorials/ss/home3.html

 Our Walkable Checklist YES NO 1. room to walk? 12 2 2. sidewalks started and stopped 7 10 3. sidewalks broken 15 3 4. sidewalks blocked 10 6 5. No sidewalks 3 15 6. Too much traffic 4 13 7. was it easy to cross? 10 5 8. road too wide? 11 6 9. traffic signals 12 4 10. need stripped crosswalks 3 15 11. parked cars block 3 14 12. trees or plants block 2 12 13. need curb ramps 1 16

Though we realized that many errors had been made in our first attempt to collect data scientifically, we knew that we had gathered important information. We decided to move on.
2. Once we had the information recorded on a spreadsheet, we then converted the data into a graph.

This site, Create a Graph, provides an alternate and easy way to convert the data into a graph.

3. Based on this chart, make predictions. What does the class see as the biggest problems for Pedestrian Safety?
THE QUESTION: What could the students do with this information?
We had a chart, photographs, notes from the Internet, information from interviews we had conducted with the local school safety officer and school crossing guard and personal experiences. Was there a way to create projects which would continue to challenge the students as scientists?
NOTE: My students really became excited doing spreadsheets. Many asked to work on their own projects; converting data and creating charts. They wanted to make this information their own! Next year, I plan to create a separate unit based on spreadsheets.