September 2020: Leveraging Authentic Data Across STEM Curricula

As the demand for data grows across disciplines and industries, the skills required to work with data are becoming more important for jobs of all levels. And beyond preparing students for the future workforce, understanding data will help students grapple with complex issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and even their own health. This month, we will be discussing the opportunities and challenges in incorporating authentic data into STEM classrooms. This Theme of the Month is a collaboration between the STEM for All Multiplex and the CADRE Resource Center. View Synthesis Brief

Theme's playlist

Expert Panel


Leveraging Authentic Data Across STEM Curricula


Description: This month's panel explores the opportunities and challenges in incorporating authentic data into STEM classrooms.


This Theme of the Month Panel is a collaboration between the STEM for All Multiplex and the CADRE Resource Center.


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Related Resources

Author(s): CADRE

This Spotlight features 16 DRK-12 projects that are building students' data skills through research and innovative curriculum and tools.

Author(s): TERC and SCIEDS

Data Clubs believes that middle school learners can and should know how to interpret data to make decisions and manipulate data to answer their own questions. Three modules engage them with “big” data—large data sets collected by government agencies, research institutes and international collaborations—curated by the Data Clubs team.

Author(s): Andee Rubin
Publication: Journal of the Learning Sciences

Here is the link to the special issue "Situating Data Science: Exploring How Relationships to Data Shape Learning," of this publication:

Author(s): Partners in Data Literacy

The writings and resources (free access) here offer core ideas, observations, strategies, and reflections about practical challenges to teaching students how to turn data into evidence, understanding, and, ultimately, into justifiable decisions, and wise action.

Author(s): Concord Consortium

CODAP is free educational software for data analysis. This web-based data science tool is designed as a platform for developers and as an application for students in grades 6-14.

Author(s): Concord Consortium

This set of dynamic data science activities is designed for grades 9-14. All dynamic data science activities are embedded in our Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP) software.

Author(s): Sherry Hsi, Colin Dixon, Chad Dorsey, and David Cole
Publication: The Concord Consortium

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Author(s): Amy Hammett and Chad Dorsey
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In this article, the authors describe opportunities for authentic data inquiry and project based learning experiences that integrate real world questions and large data sets, using harmful algal blooms as an example.

Author(s): Tim Erickson, Michelle Wilkerson, William Finzer, and Frieda Reichsman
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In this paper, we argue that paying explicit attention to data moves, as well as their purposes and consequences, is necessary for educators to support student learning about data. This is especially needed in an era when students are expected to develop critical literacy around data and engage in purposeful, self-directed exploration of large and often complex datasets.

Author(s): Tim Erickson
Publication: (Jul 2020)

This book leads you through a few introductory lessons in data science. You can think of it as a self-guided textbook for teachers or students. If you’re a teacher, you might assign chapters, problems, or projects for students to read and do. (You will use CODAP, a free web-based software - see resource above.)

Author(s): Lisa Hardy, Colin Dixon & Sherry Hsi
Publication: Journal of the Learning Sciences

This paper contributes a theoretical framework informed by historical, philosophical and ethnographic studies of science practice to argue that data should be considered to be actively produced, rather than passively collected.

Author(s): Oceans of Data Institute

Real World, Real Science provides 4 free learning modules (more coming soon) that use authentic NASA and NOAA data to study the effects of the Earth’s changing climate on the animals and plants of Maine’s diverse habitats.

Author(s): Ocean Tracks at Ocean's of Data Institute

This curriculum guides students (high school and undergraduate levels) through an exploration of data using the Ocean Tracks interface.

Author(s): Center for Children and Technology at EDC, Inc.

Zoom In! is a free, Web-based platform that helps students build their data literacy through “deep dives” into real-world science problems using authentic data sets with topics in earth science and biology.

Author(s): Oceans of Data Institute, EDC
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EDC’s Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) convened an expert panel of both data analysts and educators for a workshop on data literacy. This report captures the takeaways from that 3-day workshop.

Author(s): Oceans of Data Institute, EDC

In April 2016, a panel of Big Data experts identified the big data skills, knowledge and behaviors of a "Data Practitioner" that are needed in the workplace. This profile will be used by ODI and its community college partners to design and build course and programs leading to big data careers.