Fall 2017 SAVI Online Magazine Emagazine Fall 2017 FINAL - Page 12

CASE STUDY | Park Tudor School DEEP DIVING INTO DATA OPENS UP WHOLE NEW WORLDS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS “One thing educators talk about all the time is curiosity, and how kids struggle to ask good questions,” Sidey says. “Data visualizations naturally lend themselves to asking questions. Students routinely asked things like, ‘I wonder why the divorce rate is higher here than here? I wonder why this area is much poorer than this area? I wonder why this area has lots of parks and green space?’ I mean, they were curious about everything from criminal records to levels of education.” The more answers they got, the more questions they had. Last year, students in the “Messing About with Maps” class at Park Tudor School learned about their own neighborhoods—and Indianapolis in general—by using SAVI to create data visualizations. Park Tudor is a private school on the city’s north side. The class, which was conceived and jointly taught by faculty members Adrian Pumphrey and Jane Sidey, served two purposes. Pumphrey, a math teacher, used it to sharpen students’ understanding of statistics and percentages. Numbers are “far more meaningful when they’re related to their lives,” he says. Sidey, an English teacher, used the data visualizations to teach students to think about maps as narratives that can both reveal and conceal certain stories. Pumphrey and Sidey offered the class—which was part of a Park Tudor program that encourages faculty to create their own innovative 12 A student shares what he discovered in SAVI about his own neighborhood, showing the class what he found interesting, what surprised him, and noting what was not shown. classes—both semesters in the 2016-17 school year. About 15 seventh and eighth graders took it each semester. At the end, each gave a presentation about their findings. Students started with their own neighborhoods, but they soon broadened their focus to include nearby neighborhoods and other parts of the city. “SAVI is so great because it can take you down to the street level,” Sidey says. “And then you can spiral out and start seeing other streets and neighborhoods.”