November 24, 2020

EDC to Lead Initiative to Expand Access to Data Science Careers

EDC has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to lead Innovation Pathways to Data Careers. This new initiative will prepare diverse groups of youth—including youth of color and youth from low-income communities—to pursue careers in data science.

A strong researcher-practitioner partnership among EDC, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and the Burlington Public Schools will drive the work of the new initiative, connecting high school and community college data programs.

Over the next three years, Joyce Malyn-Smith (principal investigator), Deborah Boisvert (co-PI), DESE’s Anne DeMallie (co-PI), and Shereen Tyrell (co-PI) of the Burlington Public Schools will work with educators in up to seven Massachusetts school systems to create and test the Data Science Innovation Pathway. DESE will make the new pathway available across the state, ensuring that all students can become data literate and explore data science jobs before leaving high school.

EDC, DESE, and the districts will carry out the following action research items:

  • Design and test a data module to be integrated into high school civics courses
  • Develop and pilot a Visualization+Data course and a Python+Data course
  • Provide professional development to teacher leaders and facilitators from the districts
  • Gather data on the courses to inform the design of future Innovation Pathways

The new initiative builds on EDC’s long partnership with DESE and further expands EDC’s large body of data science education and workforce development work.

“EDC, DESE, and Burlington Public Schools are excited to begin this work” Malyn-Smith said. “The new pathway will give Massachusetts youth a fast lane to building data fluency and acquiring the knowledge and skills they’ll need to land a job in the rapidly growing field of data science.”