Data science and Excel

Jim Sturgiss
Aligning practice for better outcomes.
Learn the basics of descriptive statistics, bivariate data analysis, and inferential tests with Excel. Learn how to manipulate Excel charts to make data analysis in dep...
Target Audience
The course is focussed at all Science teachers 7 - 12. However, it is suitable for Mathematics teachers wanting to know more about Excel and where their syllabus fits in with science and vise versa. Content includes statistics from Mathematics 7-10 and Standard 2 syllabuses.

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

Excel is simply the best tool to analyse and visual data. So good that is has been largely copied by Google Sheets.
This couse is as much about Excel as it is data science.


The course is focussed at all Science teachers 7 – 12. However, it is suitable for Mathematics teachers wanting to know more about Excel and where their syllabus fits in with science and vise versa. Content includes statistics from Mathematics 7-10 and Standard 2 syllabuses.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

COVID-19 Event Information

All TTA venues continue to work with advice provided by the NSW Health Department in managing the risks associated with the current COVID-19 situation. While the current risk is low, TTA venues will be taking steps to help provide a safe environment for our courses. There will be increased cleaning and disinfecting of all areas, and venues will be providing ample hand sanitiser pumps. While venues will be taking all the care that they can, we also stress the need for course participants to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them. If you are not feeling well or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please don’t attend this event. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid shaking hands where possible. Practice cough etiquette, coughing into a tissue or your elbow and washing your hands afterwards. Thank you for your understanding.

The workshop will be a blended delivery. Participants will access online resources.

Teaching Standards
2.6.2 Proficient Level – Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
6.3.2 Proficient Level – Engage with colleagues and improve practice

Are you in NSW? If so, this is relevant for you

Completing this course will contribute 5 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 2.6.2 & 6.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

TTA (Teacher Training Australia) is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient and Lead Level Teacher.

This course contributes to 5.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of 1. Face to Face in Australia (NSW - Accredited) at this time.


Surveys to collect data

15 minutes

Participants will collect and access large quantities of data quickly using an online survey.

Foundation Statistics

1 hour and 15 minutes

The following chart types from Stage 4 Mathematics will be demonstrated using Excel: histograms, pareto charts, Box and whisker plots.
Participants will use data collected during the previous session to create charts of the data using Excel.
Discusion of measures of central tendency.
Participants will use Excel to calculate 5 number summaries of data.
Participants will use Excel to identify outliers.

The normal distribution

1 hour and 30 minutes

Discussion of the characteristics of the normal distribution including: standard deviation, the empirical rule, z-scores, uncertainty and confidence in measurements.
Partcipants will use Excel to calculate mean and standard deviation of data collected earlier. They will calculate and make predictions the Standard Error of Means (SEM)

Bivariate Analysis

30 minutes

Discussion of bivariate analysis, correlation and causation.
Participants will plot bivariate data using excel, add trendlines, add equation of the trendline and provide values for variance in data.

Science Extension Statistics

1 hour and 30 minutes

Discussion of statistical difference of mean and distribution
Participants will analyse data set of Galapogas finches for statistical evidence of evolution of populations using:
T test
Chi-squared test

What To Bring

Wifi enabled laptop

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About the team

Jim Sturgiss


Improving outcomes through aligned teaching practice synergies.

Jim is an educational researcher and independent educational consultant. A recipient of the NSW PTC Distinguished Service Award for leadership in delivering targeted professional learning to teachers, he works with schools to align assessment, reporting and learning practice. He has been a DoE Senior Assessment Advisor where he developed many statewide assessments, (ESSA, SNAP, ELLA, BST) and as Coordinator: Analytics where he developed reports to schools for statewide assessments and NAPLAN.

Selected NSW Department of Education and Communities appointments
2015                            Analytics, Systems and Development Coordinator 
2012 – 2013                School Assessment Design and Development Acting Coordinator (ESSA)
2007 – 2010                Head Teacher Science, Newtown High School of Performing Arts
2004 – 2005                Senior Assessment Officer, Computer Skills Assessment (CSA6)
2004                            Test Development Officer, Secondary Numeracy Assessment Program (SNAP)
2000 – 2004                Head Teacher Science, Concord High School 
1998 – 2000                Senior Assessment Officer, English Language and Literacy Assessment (ELLA)

Teaching Qualifications
1993 – 1997                M.Ed. (Hons) University of New England (Thesis: Literacy & learning in Science) 
1979                            Dip. Ed. University of Wollongong
1976 – 1978                B.Sc. University of Wollongong (Majors in Chemistry and Bioenergetics)