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A Firsthand Account of Engaging Future Leaders

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“How do I know if I am captured in a survey, Mr. Grundy?” asked a curious student at Andrew Jackson Academy, in Suitland, Md., a few miles away from U.S. Census Bureau headquarters.

The students were fascinated by not only the answer to this question, but also how they could help promote the response rates for Census Bureau surveys that are delivered to their homes.

As I moved from classroom to classroom during “career day” at the school, the students continued to impress me with their vast knowledge of technology, current events and statistics. 

Through the program called Statistics in Schools, designed to provide teachers with the tools that can help students understand and work with statistical information, my participation represented a unique opportunity to engage first hand with the future leaders of our country. By partnering with this program within my organization, I was able to share the Census Bureau’s innovative and informative data products, such as American Community Survey data wheels, County Business Patterns data visualizations, and International Trade graphics in a meaningful way for the students.

During my presentations to the captivated students, I shared a County Business Patterns graphic illustrating where the most toy manufacturers reside in the United States. By finding topics that the students could easily relate to, I was able to instill in them the importance of Census Bureau statistics, as well as pique their interest in showcasing the wide breadth of data the Census Bureau is able to capture in our surveys.

It was a rewarding experience that showed the relevance of the Statistics in Schools program, and how the Census Bureau continues to strive to find meaningful ways to re-purpose our data for all types of audiences.


Adam Grundy is a Supervisory Statistician in the Census Bureau's International Trade Management Division.


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