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Discover Data Program Aims to Ignite Interest in Data Among Middle School Students

2 minute read | July 2018

It’s never too early to get excited about data, especially in today’s world, where connectivity and technology play such a key role in everything from marketing to entertainment to business strategy. We’re passionate about data, and we look forward to future generations sharing that passion. And to help encourage this passion, the Nielsen Foundation recently launched Discover Data, a signature education initiative in collaboration with Discovery Education and The Afterschool Alliance. The program provides resources to students ages 11 to 14 that create excitement about the power of data analysis. The initiative includes student activities and career profiles.

The Nielsen Foundation, a private foundation funded by Nielsen, seeks to support organizations that work to reduce discrimination, ease global hunger, promote effective education, and build strong leadership—especially through the use of data.

Discover Data was designed to increase awareness about the power of data and data science; inspire students to pursue data-driven careers; and connect youth with career role models. Educators and programs can visit the Discover Data website to access resources for classrooms and after-school programs.

“Data can show us new and interesting things about the people and the world around us, and through Discover Data, we want to bring data to life and make it relatable for these young students,” said Crystal Barnes, Executive Director of the Nielsen Foundation. “Today, the use of data is part of so many careers across multiple industries, and we want to help students understand, have access to, and be excited about their opportunities and choices ahead.”

The classroom activities support educators and volunteers as they demonstrate how data can be used to answer authentic questions and solve real-world problems. Below are some of the questions that the students can investigate:

  • A Winning Smile: Does an athlete need to win games or have the highest scores to be an effective spokesperson for a brand or product?
  • Premium Products: Is it better to bring a high-price “premium” product into a category with lots of similar goods or fewer similar goods?
  • Millennial Movement: How will the media consumption habits of Millennials change by the year 2050?

Career profiles about data scientists, sales engineers and innovation analysts showcase the responsibilities and diverse opportunities available when pursuing a data-driven career.

The Discover Data program will also engage the diverse, active and innovative community of Nielsen volunteers who can talk about data science and help to deliver a Discover Data activity with classrooms and after school programs in their local communities. Schools can request a visit from a real-world data expert who will discuss their career and take students through a Discover Data activity. Schools and after school programs are also invited to access the resources on their own anytime at no cost.

To learn more and access the resources, visit the Discover Data website.