This past May, I had the opportunity to show a class of kindergarteners how Power BI can be used to report survey results. Their teacher, Ms. Fiorenzi, had just completed a lesson about data collection. As part of the lesson, each student had to ask several other students what kind of vacation activity they preferred from a list of three choices: camping, the beach, or an amusement park. Also, each student wrote down whether the student they asked was a boy or a girl.
All of the data was compiled a week before my visit and sent to me ahead of time. I built out a few sample reports which I shared with the teacher to get feedback on which visual would be most appropriate for the class. I was reminded that given the limited attention span of the students, I had to keep it short and entertaining. So we settled on a straightforward design with a donut chart (kids love donuts, even the chart variety), a few graphics, and one slicer. I also found a great YouTube video for kids (hey, adults might learn something too) about the Scientific Method. I planned to deliver the presentation within a ten-minute timeframe.
On the day of the presentation, I had arranged for a member from the school’s IT team to meet me in the classroom just to make sure I could get connected to the classroom projector and sound system. I always carry a spare HDMI and VGA which I needed for the projector. The presentation started with the teacher reminding the students about the data they collected a few weeks prior. I showed them the scientist method video, followed by a quick round of questions about data collection.
I then built the Power BI report, as fast as possible. Then, before we used the slicer, I asked the students to hypothesize (of course we spent a few moments defining a “hypothesis”) which groups, boys or girls, would prefer one type of vacation activity over the others. After listening to a few comments from the students, I showed them how the slicer works and the results.
We ended the presentation by talking about how to enhance the survey with additional questions. We also talked about donut charts, pie charts, and why there isn’t a “corn dog” chart 😊
~ Nathan Patrick Taylor (a.k.a. Zachary’s Dad)
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