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COMAP Gift to Science House and Data Science Academy to Support High School Students

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A non-profit mathematics education organization has donated $60,000 to the Science House and the Data Science Academy at NC State to support high school programming that gets more students interested in data science.

The gift from the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) 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. The grant is the first major gift to the Data Science Academy, which launched in 2021.

This program will introduce teachers from schools in underserved and rural areas to data science and help them become teacher leaders who build data science engagement across the state. Their students will gain experiences with data 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.

The grant will also support an NC State research study led by Ruby Ellis, assistant professor in the Department of STEM Education, that will examine what resources are needed to support a school with limited to no experience with data science or math modeling to participate in data science or math modeling challenges.

“COMAP is pleased to extend a gift to the Science House and Data Science Academy of NC State University,” said Sol Garfunkel, executive director of COMAP. “We are sure that this gift will help them continue to serve the teachers and students of NC and have further implications for STEM education nationwide.”

“Every student in North Carolina must have opportunities to learn how to identify trustworthy data, make sense of it and communicate insights,” said Rachel Levy, executive director of the Data Science Academy and professor of mathematics at NC State. “We will empower teachers and students with tools and concepts they can use to explore data and understand the world.”

COMAP, founded in 1980, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. The organization has worked with teachers, students and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.

The Science House, founded in 1991, is committed to bringing the resources of NC State to K-12 teachers and students across the state. The Data Science Academy was launched to meet the growing needs of interdisciplinary data science research, education, industry partnerships, extension, and service to North Carolina. Working together, these two NC State units are committed to building data science expertise in teachers and students across the state.