It is a known fact that data science as a career has emerged as one of the top choices for anyone looking to choose a stream or switch careers. In all likelihood, this individual is fully aware that the field has been facing a deficit when it comes to talent, despite the demand.
Governments have been taking several initiatives – and so have many organizations – to include data science in the middle school curriculum. This move could familiarize students with key data science concepts like statistics, coding and visualization, among others.
But, before that, they have to first develop an interest in their fundamentals. Below, we have tried to list down some tasks that we, as adults, can do to help children develop an interest in this promising field:
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Encourage Them To Work With Numbers More
It is safe to assume that most children do not enjoy math, especially algebra. But when it comes to data science, some algebra and a lot of statistics is a major requirement. With that being said, how do you ensure that your children grow up to love crunching numbers?
There are various ways:
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Get them interested in some fun, relatable activity: The best example would be to give them assignments related to statistics using social media websites. Let them use free online tools and apps to poll, which could pique their interest in statistics.
Use statistics-related games and let them watch some fun online videos: This is a standard method when it comes to teaching children something seemingly uninteresting. There are many statistics-related games online and activities for kids to engage. It would also prove useful if they use online interactive graphs, pie charts and calculators. Along with games, there are many fun videos on the subject that they can choose.
Demonstrate Applications Of Data Science
Data science is applied everywhere, in all aspects of our lives. Making children aware of its application in logistics and insurance would not be helpful. Instead, show them how it is used in Netflix and Instagram to get them interested.
Children avoid taking part in activities unless they can relate to it. So, when you tell them how Instagram uses data and insights to make their experience on the platform better, they will be interested in how it works.
Get Them Familiarized With Coding
Coding is one of the essential aspects of data science. Getting your children excited about coding is as important as getting them to know statistics better.
Firstly, when it comes to explaining what coding is, use a creative process that will encourage them to explore it further. When children start seeing coding as a creative process, the next step is to make it a part of their daily activity.
Introduce Children To Online Visualization Tools
In today’s world, data visualization needs to be clear, interactive and colorful, since data insights need to communicate easily to anyone interested in the results that are to be drawn from them.
Introducing online tools for creating visualization and infographics can be one of the fun ways to get children interested in using tools. These infographics – which are colourful and interactive – are almost as good as videos. These can be used to demonstrate the power and importance of data in the age of big data.
Many data science professionals often prefer valuable and high-quality infographics over plain content. To get young people even more interested in this, you can give them exposure to free data into visualization transformation tools which are available online.
As the demand for talented data scientists increases along with the talent gap, we have to take definitive measures to bridge it in the coming future. It is a fact that the massive data flow will never end and that means more insights and more areas for companies to grow.
As mentioned earlier, many initiatives have been taken by governments around the world (along with other organisations) to introduce data science in the school curriculum. Although it will take more time before we can see real results of these initiatives, familiarizing students with data science concepts from an early age seems promising.