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Data Explorers: K-12 Outreach

We collaborate to make workforce-relevant data science upskilling available to every K-12 student and teacher in North Carolina.


The Data Science Academy (DSA) Data Explorers K-12 Outreach program is a partnership with The Science House at NC State in collaboration with The Friday Institute, the NC School of Science and Mathematics and COMAP. Our partnership will bring data science into every classroom by:

  • Collaborating with K-12 Educators to build their capacity and leadership in data science education
  • Offering Data Science Student Courses, Camps and Challenges
  • Informing workforce-relevant curriculum development
  • Providing technical assistance for policy development


  • Work with K-12 educators to identify data concepts they can bring to their classrooms across a variety of subject areas
  • Connect to broad range of students with data science experiences
  • Provide opportunities for families to learn data science with their students
  • Inform policies that make data science education accessible to North Carolinians
  • Develop capacity and access for data science upskilling across North Carolina

Data Explorers

In the first phase of our Data Explorers program, we are building collaborations with teacher leaders and administrators from rural and under-served NC schools.  This first multidisciplinary group of high school teachers will innovate ways to build data science into their regular lesson plans and provide a mini-data challenge for their students.  They are helping the DSA understand what supports and timelines are necessary for teachers new to data science to become Data Science Team Coaches and for their students who are new to data science to eventually be able to participate in local, regional and high school data challenges.    

The first kick off workshop for Data Explorers Teacher-Coaches was held in February 2023. The DSA will host the first mini data challenge for high school students in the next year and have plans to extend these opportunities to lower grades in the future.  NC State DSA data challenges focus on fun, welcoming, collaborative experiences and build on The Science House’s experience with Science Olympiad.

Teacher-coaches collaborating on a task during the first workshop for Data Explorers.
  • Gain work and career relevant skills
  • Grow confidence in making decisions with data
  • Solve problems creatively and work collaboratively
  • Grow as leaders and welcome others
  • Engage in student-to-student discussions that build interest and increase participation
  • Build reading and writing skills in tandem with critical thinking and data science literacy
  • Participate in mini data challenges offered and supported by NC State
  • Develop data science expertise
  • Build their school’s capacity to coach and mentor students in data challenges
  • Join a teacher community as part of a professional learning team
  • Collaborate with educators across North Carolina
  • Gain opportunities to help other teachers in their school and district
  • Data science trainings and workshops
  • Absolute beginners welcome from all disciplines
  • Stipend for all teacher participants based on program progression
  • Modest time requirements with some flexible hours
  • Small cohort with close mentoring

Interested in participating in Data Explorers? Contact us at!


The DSA and The Science House have been gifted with a $60,000 donation from the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP), a non-profit mathematics education organization.

The gift from the COMAP that will provide rural and high-need schools with training, resources and support to participate in mini data challenges at NC State that lead to participation in national and international challenges such as the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling. This gift is the first major donation to the DSA, which launched in 2021.

The Data Explorers will introduce teachers to data science and mathematical modeling and develop techier leaders who will build engagement across the state. Their students will gain experiences working with data and modeling that will enable them to address the critical issues of today and tomorrow. Students participating in data challenges will learn to evaluate data, understand how data is used, and become better prepared to bring data-enabled skills to their future work.