Why do Kids need to learn Data Science?
Data Science is the integration of mathematical and technical knowledge. Students are taught abstract math but not a mathematical application. Infusing data science ideas into mathematics curricula at a young age is highly important. Technology paired with mathematics is often impossible to implement.
Why aren’t kids learning data science in school?
The data science crisis is a wealth problem. Throughout this blog, progressive ideas will be proposed for schools to create technology accessibility pathways for students to learn data science. There will be discussions surrounding training and partnering with families to better connect their homes to the digital world. This situation will not be fixed through one Zoom video or a pamphlet sent home to parents. Deliberately addressing the technology literacy problem will take systematic change and a significant investment of time. Districts would create an immense impact if they focused their resources and workforce on training parents and children to utilize technology properly. Technology literacy is the entry to STEM applications like coding, data science, and artificial intelligence. Creating more equitable pathways into STEM should be a nationwide focus on literacy. Our global economy demands STEM prowess for companies to be competitive. Schools can significantly change the cycle of poverty through better technology education for all children.
Data science and Math Standards
The data science learning content and Common Core Math Standards can be linked together. The only part that is not working out for schools is the pedagogical component of teaching data science. Data science requires collaboration, coding skills, and communication. Software and technology are critical for the math within data science to come to life. Many teachers are not learning data science in their teaching programs, so it is challenging to expect teachers to teach students the concepts without being trained in the content themselves. There is a dire need for data science and applied math to be taught in schools daily.
Free afterschool Data Science courses for kids
- CodeAcademy offers accessible data science courses for kids to dabble in the content.
- Youcubed, inspired by Stanford University, offers lesson plans in data science to introduce concepts to kids in the classroom.
- Code.org offers integrative data science projects infused with coding that can inspire students to change the world. The project-based nature of the work can be very inspirational and fun!
- Data Games is a website that teaches data science through applications of games. Students can begin to conceptualize data science concepts as they play.
Afterschool Data Science activities for elementary school
This section will detail the best options for data science programs at the elementary school level.
- Machine Learning for Kids teaches AI & Data Science through projects. Students get a full-fledged view of what a data scientist would do, from collecting data to creating a model to training the computer.
- ELL Adovcates offers a Data Science line for students in elementary school. One class, Data Science & Environment, will teach students about data science concepts while connecting to fun environment concepts like animals and plants.
- The Urban Institute focuses on data stories to teach children about data science. The goal of this project is to make students better consumers of data. The resources on this page are designed to teach kids about data science virtually.
- Tableau, a visualization company, has activities for kids to try to experience data science. The activities are fun and center around kid-friendly topics, like dogs and candy.
Afterschool Data Science activities for middle/high school
This section will detail the best options for data science programs at the middle and high school levels.
- iTrainKids Data Science course fosters analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. The system integrates coding with data science for an enhanced student experience.
- ELL Advocates offers a Data Science line for middle and high school students. The courses focus on business intelligence, data warehousing, and big data.
- Codingal offers free classes in Data Science for kids to try. After the free course, students in 9-12 can try 174 lessons of content!
Coursera has many data science courses. The classes are connected to industry-specific organizations with solid reputations. This can be appealing to older students
Schools are not teaching data science!
Schools are not teaching students the integrative nature of technology, math, and coding. This is a problem! Be sure to get your students ready for bright futures today by enrolling them in data science coursework. Starting young will pay off greatly in the long run!