Q9 Changes over time

13. Dig the Data

The video above is posted on YouTube. It describes the importance of being counted, and urges everyone to be counted in the 2020 census, that already happened. The direct link below will take you to the U.S. Census Bureau site to play the video from their page.

Direct link to video on U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics in Schools, "Getting an Accurate Count"



Students have access to lots of data that changes over time.  Understanding what this data tells us is important as it can help us make decisions about things like where we live, career choices, and the world around us.  In this Quest you will be learning about how data is collected about the state you live in as well as other states in the US; the increasing or decreasing populations in certain states; where most people live in the US; and how to interpret graphic representations of data that may inform things such as career choices.

I Can Statements

  • analyze data and interpret changes over time
  • use spreadsheets, charts and visual representations as tools to help organize and evaluate data
  • create, organize, analyze and share representations of data in a spreadsheet, chart, graph, and data plot formats with my teacher and classmates

Key Vocabulary

Census: The census is the official count or survey of a population.

Findings: Findings are a conclusion reached after examination or investigation.

Line graph: A line graph is a graph that uses one or more lines to show changes in statistics over time or space.

Statistics: Statistics is the collection and classification of data that are in the form of numbers. An example: Statistics are commonly used with sports, such as "runs batted in" (RBI) that help us predict things such as how likely a batter is to get a hit.

Play the Vocabulary Game to practice the Key Vocabulary

You can change the Quiz mode from Match to: Test, Learn, Flash Cards, or Spell using the selection list at the bottom right of the activity that says "Choose a Study Mode." Direct Link


1. What is a census? Learn about the Census Bureau and how it is a leading go-to source of statistical information, and how it was created to address the U.S. Constitution.

2. If you live in the U.S. visit the U.S. census statistics:

  • Our example will look at Michigan Facts, but if you live in a different state, select your own from the list
  • If you live in a different country, we encourage you to pick a U.S. state for this activity, and also locate the statistics for your country or area and search for data across different years that can show change.

3. It's time to do some searching to compare some of the changes from 2010 and 2019 and to document the changes using this "13.Q9 Changes Over Time Student Activity".

  • The image below is a screenshot of the Michigan population from the Census document.
  • Question: What changes do you observe about the median age of the population and how it changed over the two time periods?
    U.S. Census Bureau chart showing the Median Age change from 2010 (38.9 years) to 2019 (39.9)
  • Example observations: The Median age of the Michigan population increased from 38.9 years to 39.9 years from 2010 to 2019.
    The population of the state increased by approximately 100,000 people between 2010 and 2019.
  • Now use the 13.Q9 Changes Over Time Student Activity and answer the other questions in the Activity Document.
  • Check with your teacher to see if you can work with a partner or small group and if they want you to turn your completed activity sheet in.
  • If possible, discuss it with a partner, small group, your class, or present your results to others.

4. In this next activity you will apply some spreadsheet skills to create line, bar, or other graphs to observe the change in the number of births in three different U.S. states over the same four year period.

Demonstration videos (coming shortly)

There are three activities included in this one. You will be making inferences from different graphs as you explore the question: Where Do College Graduates Work?


  1. Ask your teacher if you will work independently, with a partner, or small group.
  2. Use this Compare and Analyze Activity Sheet for this activity by downloading or copying it and saving it to use in this activity.
  3. Open this web page from the census bureau: https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/stem/stem-html/ and complete the activities as indicated by your teacher.

Population Bracketology Game (takes about 15 min):  Go to the following web site.


Compare the State Populations and see how well you do!

  • At the bottom of the bracket click on State Population
    • Click on New Game
      Screenshot of State Population circle selected, and above to select New Game.
  • Click on the State in each pairing that you think has the larger population
  • If you are correct the one you selected will show up in Green and you will get some points!
  • If you are incorrect it will show up in Red-orange like Oregon in the image below, but the correct state with a larger population, Colorado, will be shown on the bracket line. That way you can continue to gain points in the next round! 
    Screenshot showing a BYE and Kansas in green, with Kansas the winner of the pair, and Oregon and Colorado paired, with the wrong choice Oregon chosen in a red-orange, and Colorado advanced to the next round.
  • Some states will already be there in round one for you because they aren't in a pair and you will see the label "BYE" where only one state is in the pairing.
  • A perfect score is 63! See how close you can get.
  • You can start a new game, or if you want a different challenge play the game with Metro Area Population instead of State population.

Good luck!

Grades 3-6 OPTIONAL: Money Smart Kids videos from Discovery Education and the Jackson Charitable Foundation target grades 3-6 on Cha-chingusa.org/videos

  • Check out Episode 3: Entrepreneur and Justin's Lemonade Stand

Green check mark Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap

right pointing green arrow  I am ready for Q10: Sort It Out

MITECS  Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

5. Computational Thinker
a. Formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions
b. Collect data or identify relevant data sets
c. Break problems into component parts, extract key information

6. Creative Communicator
a. Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations
b. Communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations
d. Publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for a variety of audiences.