2017 Big Data Challenge

STEM Fellowship Big Data Challenge 2017-2018 under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

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Big Data Challenge 2017-2018 Winners

  • SAS Award - Tony Xu and Shayan Khalili (Earl Haig Secondary School)

Now in its fourth year, the STEM Fellowship Big Data Challenge introduces high school students to Data Science and helps them develop their analytical abilities as digital citizens.

The STEM Fellowship Big Data Challenge is an online Big Data inquiry and experiential learning program where students participate in-person or remotely in orientation sessions, workshops, mentorship, and Big Data Day. 

Theme for 2017-2018 Challenge

Think Global and Act Local with Big Data”

This year’s theme surrounds the UNs 17 Sustainable Developmental Goals.

The competition is an opportunity to develop

Global Citizenship – The opportunity to be part of designing and implementing a vision for a more sustainable world by 2030.
Computational Thinking – The ability to convert large amounts of data into a broad working problem (or How Might We… Problem) and conduct data-based reasoning to refine the problem’s scope.
Design Mindset – The ability to generate and create solutions in contexts where only part of the solutions’ requirements are known ahead of time.
Cognitive Load Management The ability to evaluate the quality of obtained data and then filter the usable information that is needed to produce successful solutions.

Get to know the most pressing problems surrounding climate change through the online footprint of the world’s top academic research publications. Please see the Digital Learner Inroads into Climate Change and UNESCO sustainable development and environmental data.

Participating Teams

30 teams from: the Abelard School, Bayview Secondary School, Earl Haig Secondary School, Erindale Secondary School, Lowell International Academy, Northern Secondary, Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science- P.R.I.S.M.S., St. Francis High School, The Academy for Gifted Children – P.A.C.E.,  TanenbaumCHAT Wallenberg, the University of Toronto Schools, Villanova College, and Webber Academy have joined the competition.



The top 8 Canadian teams and top 2 International teams who advanced to the finalists’ round at Big Data Day are:

(Big Data Day: SAS Headquarters, 280 King St East, Toronto, ON M5A 1K7 on February 22nd, 2018- teleconferencing is also available!)

Tanenbaum CHAT 
Jason Arbour, Jordan Juravsky, Shahar Lazarev, Josh Zwiebel
The Abelard School 
Tasneem Badshah, Dominik Bednarczyk, Joshua Rosenberg
Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science
Yingyi Liang, Zhamilya Bilyalova, Haohao Fu, Cheng Guo
Tanenbaum CHAT 
Jonah Garmaise, Ethan Ohayon, Mason Silver, Jonah Belman
St. Francis High School
Rohit Menon
Phillips Exter Academy
Jack Zhang, Evan Chandran
Bayview Secondary School 
Peter Lai, Sean Tao, Kaveeshan Thurairajah, Ryan Yu
University of Toronto Schools 
Katherine Gotovsky, Alain Lou, Arielle Shannon, Jing Yi Wang
Webber Academy
Aaron Abraham, Kevin Lin
Earl Haig Secondary School 
Tony Xu and Shayan Khalili



  • Arnold Chan Student Innovation Award
  • SAS prize ($1000)
  • Digital Science Award (Altmetric, Overleaf and Figshare)
  • Invitation to the SAS box for the Raptors game 
  • SciNet Supercomputer Tour
  • Scholarly publication of the top three projects with the STEM Fellowship Journal
  • Royal Bank of Canada Award (TBD)

More prizes are on the way!








The challenge is recognized by the Parliament of Canada


Orientation Session Recordings from the 2017-2018 Big Data Challenge 

Presentations of competition resources, tools and topics by SciNet UofT and SAS.

SAS Canada Academic Program Resources for Faculty in Canada


SAS Canada Academic Program Resources for Students in Canada

Orientation Session Full Teleconference

Contact: bigdata@stemfellowship.org