2020-2021 National High School Big Data Challenge

Using the Power of Open Data to Learn:

Paving the Path
to True Equality and Equal Access in Education

 

The Big Data Challenge (BDC) for high school students is an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary, experiential learning program that strengthens students’ problem-solving and critical thinking
abilities by working with Open Data. By allowing students to undertake independent research projects that tackle real-world problems, the BDC synergizes with both classroom and extracurricular experiences to foster an active digital citizenship position and prompt new
sustainable development innovative ideas.

Bring your findings into the class, to your peers, and into the community at large

           

Under Patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

CONCERNS REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

At STEM Fellowship, we care about the health and safety of our participants and the community at large. The Big Data Challenge will be conducted entirely remotely and online this year.

Should the COVID-19 Pandemic persist and prevent an in-person Big Data Day, we will have the Big Data Challenge finalists submit a video presentation and have judges evaluate them remotely.

Further, we will host video-conference interviews with academia and industry experts, as well as video presentations of speakers instead of the live round table and presentations at Big Data Day.

WHAT TO EXPECT

It is through educational systems that some of the brightest minds and innovators are found. However, education and access to it are not uniform. Gender, race, geographical region, socioeconomic status, and citizenship status are all significant, nuanced factors in this discussion.

We challenge students to examine Open Data related to their learning experiences, and to bring their results to their teachers, classrooms, and peers.

Teams of up to 4 students will be provided with datasets, workshops, learning resources, and tools for data analysis. With the help of experts from academia and industry, teams undertake exploratory analysis of socioeconomic and educational Open Data.

Data analysis is combined with scientific writing, insofar that the teams present their research findings in the form of scientific manuscripts, which are then evaluated by academics and industry professionals.

All aspects of the BDC, including the delivery of workshops, resources, and mentorship, will occur online and are equally accessible to all students regardless of their location or other circumstances.

The BDC engages teachers and their classrooms with Open Data analysis to strengthen their works, and apply what they learn. Science and learning are collaborative efforts, and we wish to further
promote this standard.

At the end of the program, the research abstracts of all teams and the manuscripts of winning teams are published in the open access, peer-reviewed NRC Research Press STEM Fellowship Journal . The top teams are then invited to defend their findings in front of a panel of experts in competing for monetary and academic prizes, at the culminating finale event.

BIG DATA CHALLENGE WELCOME DOCUMENT

LEARN MORE

HIGH SCHOOL BIG DATA CHALLENGE REGISTRATION

REGISTRATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 23RD 11:59 PM EDT
REGISTER HERE

PROBLEM STATEMENT

This year’s National Big Data Challenge encourages high school students across the country to apply their computational thinking efforts on UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) “Equity in Education”. One may use federal, provincial, municipal, and NGO Open data to seek ideas for better education for all regardless of socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic background, or even pandemic-related hardships.

PRIZES

 

CCUNESCO Scholarly Communication Awards

In memoriam of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari

1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

2nd Prize: $250

3rd Prize: $100

Let's Talk Science Analytics Talent Awards

 

1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

2nd Prize: $250

3rd Prize: $100

RBC Arnold Chan Memorial Award for Student Innovation

 

$1000 + Publication

Kimberly Foundation Prize for Transformative Ideas

In memoriam of Hugh and Pat Morris

1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

2nd Prize: $250

3rd Prize: $100

Digital Science International Excellence In Analytics Award

 

$1000

SCHEDULE

 

Information Sessions

September 21 – October 9, 2020

 

Q&A and sample workshops for teachers and their students about the High School Big Data Challenge. Recordings and material will be provided following the orientation session. 

Students and teachers may register HERE

  1. Teacher Q&A Session –  Monday, September 21, 2020 6:00pm ET
  2. Data Science Workshop for Teachers – Sunday, September 27, 2020 9:30pm ET
  3. Student Q&A Session – Monday, October 5, 2020 6:45pm ET
  4. Data Science Workshop + Q&A for Students – Friday, October 9, 2020 6:45pm ET

Registration Deadline

October 23, 2020

 

Form your team(s) of up to 4 students and register them online HERE.

Challenge Period

October 20, 2020 – January 22, 2021

 

  1. Crowdsource resources and investigate analytics tools (SAS, Python, Pandas, etc) choose the one you will learn and use. Workshops covering Data Science and Programming techniques will be provided to participants to help with this.
  2. Attend mentor sessions and ask questions to learn more about anything within the realm of data science and its applications.
  3. Work on your data set for 3 months. Work together with your team, making use of your mentors, teachers, and the provided resources to analyze your data and propose solutions.
  4. Tell the story of your data discovery through a scientific report. Use Overleaf to prepare your project report, and submit it to us.
Project Submission Deadline

January 23, 2021

Submit your project report developed in Overleaf before the deadline (2:59 AM on January 23) for evaluation by a team of academics and industry experts.

Finalist Announcement

February 5, 2021

The finalists (top 20 teams, 10 per region) will be announced! If selected, your team will have the opportunity to present your work at Big Data Day.

High School Big Data Day

February 16, 2021

The Big Data Day  will either be organized online or take place at the Toronto and Calgary/Vancouver locations.

FAQ

WHAT IS THE BIG DATA CHALLENGE?
The Big Data Challenge (BDC) for high school students is an inquiry-driven experiential learning program that invites students from across the country to strengthen their problem-solving and critical thinking skills while learning the fundamentals of data science.

 

DO I NEED PREVIOUS PROGRAMMING EXPERIENCE?
You do not need previous experience with programming. We welcome all students who are eager to put effort into learning and expanding their skillsets, as well as those who show any level of interest in data science or the challenge topic.

 

HOW DO I FORM OR JOIN A TEAM?
We encourage participants to start forming teams before the event. You may also register and participate on your own or request to be placed into a team after registration.

 

DO I NEED TO HAVE AN IDEA FOR MY PROJECT?
You do not need to have an idea before registering. Think about what interested you the most in the field of the provided topic. Reflect on your day-to-day; talk to your friends and professional network from academia and industry; explore emerging technologies and platforms; read the internet and research articles. In hackathons like these, many teams come up with their topics in the first few days of the challenge, rather than beforehand.

 

DOES STEM FELLOWSHIP PROVIDE TRAVEL GRANTS?
We subsidize travel expenses for our finalists to attend the Big Data Day, up to a fixed amount. More information will be provided, closer to the finale event, as it may be held remotely due to COVID-19

 

I RECENTLY GRADUATED, AM I ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL BIG DATA CHALLENGE?
Yes, anyone who has graduated within 12 months is eligible to register for our Big Data Challenge, however, if you are enrolled as an Undergraduate, then we recommend you sign up for the Undergraduate Big Data Challenge.

 

Want to become part of our team?