Data science for children can be intriguing, game-based, and fun! In our ever-changing world, data science is all around us. We can use data to predict trends in clothing, dining, or the weather.

Since data is all about patterns, it is very important that we begin to teach young people how to analyze information. Because data science is vital to today’s economy, we are going to discuss how you can get your children involved in data science in a non-threatening way.

This post will not only assist you to incorporate data science into your child’s daily routine, but also it will dismantle the stigma that analytics is merely for brilliant computer science majors. Everyone can learn about data and how to utilize the power of data for good.

For example, data can be used to create better eating habits. We all could benefit from learning to have a healthier diet. Anyone can learn the skills necessary to make healthy nutritional decisions based on facts. You would never believe the amazing changes that data science has made in the sports and music industries! Data science can provide life-altering results when properly utilized.

Answers to common questions about data science for children

In this section, we will answer common questions about data science for children. Data science seems like a complicated concept, but in reality, it can be accessible to everyone if we phrase it right. As you read through the questions, we encourage you to consider ways in which you can engage your children in data science.

Is data science easy for beginners?

Data science is easy for beginners when properly implemented. It truly depends on the pedagogical implementation of the material. If data science is portrayed in an approachable way, it is quite easy to learn.

What skills are required for data science?

The skills required for data science are programing, statistics, and communication. To be a data scientist, you will need to learn to write code, use statistics to analyze data from the code, and then properly communicate the information to stakeholders. Data scientists must be dynamic individuals with many talents. Data science is about an integration of skills, not just being an expert in one area.

Find out how to explain data science to a child

Data science is really a progression of three steps. We collect data, then analyze the trends within the data, and lastly we make decisions based on the data. Data science is a process in which the goal is to make better choices. To make better choices, data should be collected to properly analyze the situation. Once the situation has been analyzed, then data scientists can make decisions to improve various outcomes.

1. Collect the data

Data can be collected using code from databases or by conducting new surveys.  Coding used for data collection can be vital in finding the right information.

Once the data has been collected, it is important to visualize the data with pictures. That way, trends can be analyzed in the data to make decisions.

3. Make decisions from data

Visualizations should allow data scientists to recognize trends to predict best courses of action for the future. Better decisions come from analyzing data.

Discover 10 tips for data science for children

Let’s discuss some tips for engaging your child in data science.

1. Find patterns

Patterns are everywhere! Try to question your child to analyze any patterns they see in everyday life.

2. Create visualizations

Once your child finds a pattern, ask them to create a visual from the pattern. Attempt to have your child describe why seeing a pattern is helpful!

3. Use patterns to forecast

After your child identifies a pattern, begin to prompt them and ask what might happen next. How can the pattern we see help us predict the future?

4. Create fun surveys

Practice the data collection process by conducting a simple survey. Have your child run through the pattern recognition, visualization and forecast components after the survey data has been collected!

5. Dabble in code

Start having your child attempt code through games. Scratch has excellent, engaging, game-based coding applications that are non-threatening ways to begin coding.

6. Examine databases

Begin to discuss practical uses of databases, the large-scale nature of data collection, and the size of big-data. Start brainstorming ways to extract needed data from databases.

7.  Extract data from databases

To learn extraction, students should begin trying simple SQL queries. W3 schools have excellent tutorials that are simple but user friendly.

8. Create fun graphs

Database extraction is so rewarding when you create a cool graph from the code’s data. There are many data visualization softwares that are free to try, like Flourish.

9. Showcase their successes

Data science is an undertaking that can be intimidating. Every tiny step forward should be showcased to demonstrate the progress and persistence of your child!

10. Learn with your child

Your child will be much more apt to learn if you are willing to take risks alongside them. Coding, visualizations, and forecasting will be a lot more fun if you are willing to participate in the effort!

Data science for children online classes

Check out Data Superpower at Create and Learn to get your child started on their journey towards analytics. In this live online class, children interact with fun and relatable data with the guidance of an expert instructor. They also learn core data science skills, and see the world a new way - all while interacting with fellow students, from the comfort of their own homes.

Fun online games that teach data science for children

Tableau has some great ways to get students interested in data, Including two activity ideas involving M&Ms and pets to get children interested in data science. There are some excellent online games that children can play to get involved with data as well.

Get started with data science for kids!

In short, data science is truly for anyone, including kids. Since data is all around us, we encourage you to demonstrate data in real ways to your children every chance that you get! You'll find they quickly get excited in the power of data when you relate it to things they understand, such as Netflix and sports!

Up next, learn more about getting started with Scratch.

Written by Lauren Mauel, a Create & Learn instructor with 8 years of teaching experience. She also has a BS in Mathematics, an MS in Analytics, and is a PhD candidate. She loves seeing kids' creativity come alive.