During Spring Break, two members of the Dana Hall Data Science Team presented at the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) annual conference in Atlanta. Social Studies department member Brian Cook and Mathematics department member Alla Baranovsky shared the work Dana Hall has done as the team, which includes Engineering and Computer Science department head Pat Townsend, builds the new Upper School Data Science Program.
Cook shared that their NSTA presentation was well attended. “There’s a great deal of interest in Data Science as a distinct curricular thread, and as a component of existing science curriculum,” he said. “We feel pretty sure that Dana Hall is leading the way with the development of an entire Data Science curriculum. We also found that we might be one of the only schools that is also focusing on the Data Science/Social Studies connection.”
Last year, the School was awarded a grant by the E.E. Ford Foundation to create a Data Science Program, beginning with a course combining Social Studies, Statistics and Computer Science. The program is designed to prepare students for college, where nearly every major is now expected to take a Data Science course; bridge the gap between different disciplines using the language of Data Science; and teach students to be better empirical thinkers who answer research questions rigorously, with evidence.
“Many of the [conference] workshops focused on reading and interpreting data to build data literacy and fluency, but not as many were focusing on integrating coding skills in the curriculum,” Cook said. “Dana Hall is leading the way on integrating data fluency and Computer Science.”
Dana Hall’s Data Science course will initially be offered to 11th and 12th grade students during the 2023-24 school year.