2017 Hudson Data Jam Competition

Making data "sing" through creative expression

Now in its fourth year, the Hudson Data Jam Competition challenges students to creatively tell stories for a general audience using data from the Hudson River watershed.

Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations




The Hudson Data Jam Competition is open to all current middle and high school students (grades 6-12) attending school in the United States. Only eligible participants may submit projects and receive prizes.

Previous Entrants

Previous entrants are encouraged to compete again in the Hudson Data Jam Competition, as long as they meet the above student eligibility requirements. Students are welcome to use the same dataset(s) they used in previous years, however, they must create a new project for the competition. Previously entered projects are ineligible.

Team Advisors

Participation in the Hudson Data Jam Competition requires coordination by a responsible adult who agrees to facilitate and validate student participation. Middle and high school (grades 6-12) teachers of all subject areas are encouraged to get their students involved. Adult advisors can be teachers, parents, guardians, or other mentors.


All projects for the Hudson Data Jam Competition are entered by teams. There are two types of teams that may enter: small teams (consisting of one to six students) or class teams (consisting of entire classes or grade levels).

Small Teams (1-6 Students)

Multiple project entries may be submitted from the same class. This means that a single class may be divided into several groups, with each group submitting their own project entry. Each team may only submit one project entry.

Multi-grade teams will be categorized according to the grade of the highest-level student. This means that if one team consists of three 7th grade students and one 9th grade student, the team will be categorized as a “high school” entry.

Prizes will be awarded to a winning project, so it must be split between team members if a team consists of more than one student.

Class Teams

Teachers who wish to compete in the Hudson Data Jam Competition with a whole class or grade level can enter their students as a class team. This means that the entire class/grade will submit one project for the competition. If the creative data display shows a student's likeness, we will not be able to share any videos/photos of their project unless all members of the class have submitted consent forms.

Prizes will be awarded to a winning project, and, in the case of class teams, will be given to the students' school and/or designated class funds.


Acceptable Data

We have compiled Hudson River watershed data from a variety of sources for your use. This data is posted on the Data Sets section of the Data Jam website. You are welcome to use additional data from other sources, but it must be approved by Cary Institute Educators before the registration deadline.  Outside data must be data collected in the Hudson River watershed. Fabrication of data will result in elimination from the Hudson Data Jam Competition.

Registration Period

Registration for the Hudson Data Jam Competition is required. All registrations must be completed no later than May 1, 2017. Team information that is not completed during the online registration must be submitted no later than May 12, 2017 using the team information sheet.

Project Entry Period

Project entries for the Hudson Data Jam Competition must be submitted online no later than 11:59pm EST on May 12, 2017.



In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined based on a secondary, comparative round of judging among the tied projects.

Winner Notifications

Winners for the merit prizes, People’s Choice Award, and door prize will be announced at the Data Jam Expo (date and location TBD). Prizes will be distributed following winner announcements. Merit prize project winners who are not in attendance at the Data Jam Expo will be contacted via their team advisor’s provided e-mail address within 72 hours following the event to notify them of their team’s winnings.

Student Privacy

Student privacy is important to us. All adult team advisors will receive parental/guardian consent forms for permission of student participation and the release of limited personally identifiable student information (i.e., student name, grade level and gender, school name, hometown, photographs, video or audio files of the student, and project entry). These consent forms should be completed and signed for each participating student and returned to the student's team advisor. 

Team advisors are asked to handle the distribution and collection of parental/guardian consent forms for their student participants. To ensure receipt of materials, please submit all team members’ parental/guardian consent forms together. Completed forms must be received by the Cary Institute no later than May 12, 2017.  These forms may be scanned or photographed and e-mailed to caryeducation@caryinstitute.org or mailed to the following address:

Shelly Forster
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
P.O. Box AB
Millbrook, NY 12545


Publicity & Rights

By entering a project into the Hudson Data Jam Competition, the project creator(s), parent(s)/guardian(s), and the team advisor grant to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use all materials submitted by the student teams into the Hudson Data Jam Competition for publicity purposes.

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies may post information about the Hudson Data Jam Competition in the Cary newsletter, on the Cary website, in the Cary annual report, in the local newspapers, and on the Cary and Hudson Data Jam Competition Facebook pages. Project entries may be published without compensation through any or all of the above sources in whole or in part. Submitting a project entry does not guarantee it will be publicized. We will not publicize any student information without prior parental/guardian consent.


Project entries cannot include plagiarized work. Plagiarism is considered the deliberate copying of someone else’s thoughts, ideas, expressions, words, artistic expressions, or scientific work without formally acknowledging its source. Plagiarism includes project entries that are comprised substantially of someone else’s work, copying  words or ideas from someone else without giving credit, the failure to put quotation marks around unmodified content that was copied from an outside source, and the use of photos, graphs, charts, or other images without acknowledging their source. Project entries that include plagiarized content will be eliminated from the competition. We recommend teams working together to help each other avoid plagiarism. The best way to ensure your work is original is to be creative!

This competition requires students to use information that is not their own, and thus merits increased diligence to proper source acknowledgement. Students will use data (scientific work) that has been collected by a group of researchers. Students are also welcome to use any of the images provided on the “Data Sets” portal/webpage in their project entries. In order to avoid plagiarism, students should be sure to properly cite all sources of information for content that isn’t their own original work. This includes noting the data source and the sources of any images copied or modified.


All project entries must have a complete reference list of all resources used.  Any standard citation form is permissible (APA, MLA, etc.), but the same form should be used for all citations for a given project entry.

Additional Disclaimers

  1. It is the responsibility of each participant and team advisor to obtain and read these rules and regulations for the Hudson Data Jam Competition.
  2. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies will not be responsible for any claims, costs, liabilities, damages, expenses, or losses arising from 1) The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies’ use of project entries, 2) the participants’ involvement in the competition, 3) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to, computer viruses or equipment malfunctions, 4) travel to and from the teacher workshops, Data Jam Expo, and other related activities, 5) the use of prizes, and 6) any events outside the Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies’ reasonable control.
  3. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies reserves the right to reject any project entry for any reason and at any time, at its own discretion.
  4. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies may refuse to award a prize if a winning participant does not follow proper registration and project entry procedures, or these rules and regulations.
  5. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is not responsible for any technical failures that may affect participation in the Hudson Data Jam Competition.



Any questions regarding the Hudson Data Jam Competition should be directed to caryeducation@caryinstitute.org.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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