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Data Stories is a gentle introduction to Data Science in eleven lessons grouped into seven units. To do the lessons, you will need the Data Stories Companion App.
Unit One: Mostly For Grown-ups
Students can skip Unit One. It sets the scene for the lessons that follow and gives some historical perspective: the sorts of things parents like to know. It is helpful, however, for youngsters to at least peek at the opening chapter about telling stories with data.
Unit Two: Remembering the Old Number Science
Schools do not point out that subjects like arithmetic and beginning algebra are designed for a datum here and a datum there, not for serious mountains of data. It can be helpful to remind ourselves of this reality by recapitulating some of the old homework assignments.
Unit Three: Planetary Data Science
Geography is the study of the stage on which life hoofs. Where once it was studied on hand-drawn maps, it is now documented in millions of Geographic Information System (GIS) data sets. Students in the middle school years may assume that this data is too hard for them. In Unit Three they see that it is not too hard at all.
Unit Four: The Data Thickens
As in any good story, things really get interesting when protagonists from different backgrounds (whether they be people or data sets) are juxtaposed. Data science has its own ways of doing these mashups; Unit Four is where students learn how.
Unit Five: Character-izing Your Data
No good story treats every participant the same way. The important ones need to be brought down stage while others are left back in the chorus. Here is where students learn to draw out the main elements of their data story.
Unit Six: Three Examples
Now that students know how to work with GIS data, and how to make it tell its story, they see how to use it to, for example:
make a business more profitable
save a local community from over-development
see the juxtaposition of climate ecology and politics
investigate species niches
Unit Seven: A Life Science Story Preview
The middle school years are a little too soon for a serious engagement with subjects like genomics and proteomics, but good data skills will be essential to both. Unit Seven gives a brief teaser of the excitement that awaits in the high school years.