STEM Fellowship’s High School Big Data Challenge is an inquiry-driven experiential learning program that provides students an opportunity to learn and apply the fundamentals of data science – a crucial skill set for a young researcher in the digital age – through independent research projects. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted high school education, at the same time creating a “fertile ground” for interdisciplinary, student-driven STEM education.
This year, we invited students to explore issues of Affordable and Clean Energy at the Individual and Community Levels and to suggest their own evidence-based solutions, using Open Data and the principles of Open Science. Students explored many topics, ranging from Greenhouse Gas Emissions of School Buses to Legitimacy of Electric Vehicles to be the Greener Alternative
We developed in-depth learning modules designed to bridge the gap between traditional high school courseware and digital reality and computational science. The students learnt a broad range of data analytics tools and programming languages which are useful for uncovering hidden patterns, trends in structured and unstructured data. Some of the tools the students learnt and used include Python, R, LaTeX, and machine learning.
On behalf of the STEM Fellowship, we extend our sincere congratulations to all students who participated in the challenge, and wish them the best for their future endeavours. We want to express our appreciation to all the mentors and volunteers. This program would not be possible without patronage of CC UNESCO and generous support of our sponsors: RBC Future Launch, Let’s Talk Science, Digital Science, Infor, SCWST, CISCO Networking Academy, Canadian Science Publishing, and the University of Calgary Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.
It has been a privilege for us to witness the analytical capabilities of the data-native generation of students first hand, and we are certain all entrants will continue to demonstrate excellence in their respective academic and professional careers.