Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Data Science Discovered

Researchers from Brown University are working to design lessons, which infuse coding into mainstream curriculum.  Over the past two years I have been making it my priority to find ways to incorporate coding and computer science in such a way, ensuring teachers do not have to stray from their content.  With regard to these coding lessons and other computer science lessons, I have been asked to offer suggestions so that coding experiences in the classroom may continue to be relevant and enhance students' problem solving and critical thinking skills.  

Mrs. Henry, a 6th grade language Arts Teacher at West Pine Middle School, was excited for her students to experiment with this data science lesson.  This lesson will eventually lead to her students writing an argumentative essay, choosing their own created topics pertaining to the following positions:  

1.  Data science is an excellent career to pursue.
2.  Data science should not be portrayed as "the best job in America."

Mrs. Henry and I worked together to transform the standards to reach the students more effectively and incorporate the aspect of coding.  

Lesson Essential Questions:


1.  To give students an overview of data science and explain why it has been labeled as the "Trendiest New Career."

2.  To share the 5 questions data scientists ask themselves.

3.  To allow students to participate in an activity where they move around the room posting examples of data science topics underneath the corresponding data science questions.

4.  To show students how to code an actual data set using the Pyret Programming Language.  The data contained in this Google Sheet contained their current ELA Vocabulary Words.


One of the most interesting aspects about data science, which caused much student interest was the fact that data scientists help credit card companies code algorithms, which detect fraud.

For example:  Do you ever wonder why you get a text, email, or maybe even a call when you charge over a certain amount?  Or maybe you are traveling and try to purchase a few things in another state, but your card becomes deactivated.  

This is a result of a data scientist programming a computer system to think:  Is this weird?

Data scientists also thumb through data manually to find trends, patterns, and/or discrepancies. Sometimes data scientists are known as: "Data Miners."  

You must enjoy math, looking at data, and coding to become a successful data scientist, and as an added bonus, the pay is pretty wonderful!  

The lesson started with a KWL Chart:

"List one thing you learned today."  Was the "Ticket out the door."

Student examples:


Click HERE to watch some lesson highlights!


Any grown-ups out there interested in learning more about data science?  These videos are fascinating and offer excellent information:

Students!  You are welcome to watch too.  :)

As Always...  Happy Coding!

No comments:

Post a Comment