Overview of the statistical literacy activities
National, local and European festivals and events
The gamification activity is not limited to school experiences though. Istat is actively extending it through its participation in national and local festivals or events. To give an example, Istat and the Italian Statistical Society are partners in the organization of the national festival of statistics (4th edition 2018), which was held in Treviso (Veneto) at the end of September. For the festival, a detailed plan of offline games for children and school pupils is prepared every year, which is also key to the success of the Festival. The whole set of games is divided into several sections and the games are played in different places in the old town centre. The initiative is called “StatisticAll Young”, to show its inclusive character. The games are divided into three sections: a Video Lab area, an area with games on the carpet, and a third area with free games for everybody. This way, Istat hopes to reach and inspire young audiences to learn more about statistics in a comfortable environment surrounded by their peers.
A further experience of games and activities is that which is being offered for the European researchers’ night 2018, which took place September 28. For the first time this year, Istat presented a “single” catalogue of games and activities at national and regional level. What distinguishes this initiative from others is that the activities are not only devoted to pupils or school-age children, but they are targeted at specific age groups. Most of these games draw from Istat data, such as “Italy in figures” or “Regions in figures”. Some crosswords also complement Istat infographics. Regardless of the age-group in mind, all games are united though in their support to promote statistical literacy and scientific thought.
In 2018 and 2019 Istat also took part to the international Festival della scienza in Genova with games, quizzes, laboratories for children mainly intended for primary school pupils.
Projects for schools and students
In October 2019 it is also to be remembered the participation to the Didacta exhibition, which is entirely devoted to schools, teachers, and innovative projects.
During the 2019/2020 school year a new project regarding Census at school was developed and launched. It is directed to primary and lower secundary students, and it is intended as a tool for students to better understand the territory they live in. It has the general aim to improve a better understanding of Permanent Population Census.
A relevant experience is to be also remembered, which took place during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Istat participated, with all Italian Public research bodies to a project pivoted by the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research, which made available all learning and teaching resources in a common section. Istat contributed with webinars on the statistical fairy tales, the Census at school projects, the integration of non-native Italian pupils and students at school.
Podcasts on the Statistical fairy tales
Starting as of May 2020 Istat began the production of a series of podcasts based on the two books of statistical fairy tales Le streghe di Bayes and Il pavone della pioggia. The first five podcasts have been published and the project is being continued with the other tales of the two books. It is a sort of cross-cutting project aimed at fostering listening ability and making the listeners familiar with statistical terms. A new way of statistical alphabetization.
Upon the occasion of the permanent Census of 2018 Istat launched a subsection of the Census website with a set of games. The aim is to propose quizzes and puzzles to learn facts and data about Italy and Italians, to learn about Italian history, habits and characteristics of population. An easy way of having fun and knowing the country.
Dati alla mano
Dati alla mano is a new project which has the aim to spread awareness of the value of Istat's production to a wider audience. The idea is to offer a friendly way to become familiar with the data so as to assume the propensity to overcome individual perceptions and rely on quantitative evidence in order to encourage less expert users to become familiar with statistical data and to encourage the overcoming of individual perceptions in favour of quantitative evidence.
Consequently a section of the institutional website is being developed, dedicated to less experienced users, as well as to potential users, "telling" what Istat do and which data are produced in the simplest possible way, both by enhancing existing and more immediately perceived products and by creating ad hoc content. It will illustrate in a simple, although scientifically correct and exhaustive way, the meaning and usefulness for the country of the statistical information produced by the Institute, and will promote the initiatives carried out - especially those promoting the statistical culture carried out at a central level and on the territory - and will propose in a popular way the fundamental concepts and terminology used by statistics.
Links to the statistical literacy activities
The article Statistical literacy: a key to comprehend a changing world (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11943-019-00248-6) gives a comprehensive overview of the statistical literacy activities of Istat - many of them relying upon personal contacts and physical exhibitions. A pre-print publication can be found here.