An important component of learning is interrogating information: asking questions, researching, critical thought and possibly asking more questions. In today’s modern World this is an important set of skills for all members of society to posses. As a society we are faced with complex issues that require nuanced solutions. To make informed decisions we need to determine the validity of the presented information and sometimes find independent sources of information. At our school we need to provide our students with opportunities to learn, develop and practice these skills. There are many learning opportunities, we can draw from in our everyday lives.
I live and work in Woodenbong. The village of Woodenbong is located on the NSW side of the NSW-Queensland border (Australia).
At the beginning of October I was told that Woodenbong would have 300mm of rain from October to the end of December. My first reaction was that is a lot of rain. On reflection I asked is it a lot of rain at that time of the year and how would I find out? Fortunately there are rainfall records for Woodenbong since November 1933. I asked how many times since 1934 has Woodenbong had exactly 300mm of rain: Answer not once. My next question was: on how many occasion has Woodenbong had more than 300mm of rain from the beginning of October to the end of December? Answer 28. That is, based on the historical data there is a 36% chance that Woodenbong will have more than 300mm of rain over October to December. The records also indicate that over that interval the maximum rainfall is 687.7mm (in 1959); the minimum rainfall is 105.6mm (1957); the average rainfall is 284.7mm and the median rainfall is 259.5mm.
So, is 300mm of rain a lot for Woodenbong in the October to December period?