2014 Hudson Data Jam Competition

Making data "sing" through creative expression

 

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


Your challenge

Present for a general audience the most creative and compelling data-based story describing a trend or comparison using Hudson River watershed data 

You can create a graphic, story, play, song, or other product—your imagination is the limit! Just make sure your creation describes trends in the data OR uses data to make comparisons between sites or years. While you can use any scientific data collected in the Hudson River watershed, we are compiling a number of data sets for you and encourage you to use these.

Note! You don’t need to (and perhaps shouldn’t) tell us why the trend is occurring or why you see differences among sites, but you will want to creatively illustrate, sing or dance what the trend or comparison shows and are strongly encouraged to form a hypothesis for why you see the trend or differences (a la part seven of your poster display!).

Parts of the Project

 

Each project will consist of 2 main parts:

  • A creative piece
  • A tri-fold poster display

Creative Work

This is the heart of your project—where you use your creatively to describe an interesting trend you find OR make a comparison of similarities or differences between sites or years using data from the Hudson River.

How can you present ecological data about the Hudson River and/or its watershed to explain the major conclusions to a nonscientist audience?

Your creative work can be a 2-D graphic, sculpture, story, play, song, puppet show, or other product—your imagination is the limit! Just make sure your creation describes trends in the data or uses data to make comparisons between sites or years. The relationship between your work and the data should be clear.


Poster

Regardless of what medium you use for the creative aspect of your project, you will need to produce a poster that summarizes your project for the judges and others to review. Posters may not be larger than 3’ tall by 4’ wide and must use a folding science fair board.

The poster must include the following eight components:

  1. Title
  2. Names of students who submitted the project and their school name
  3. Introduction to the dataset used:
    • State where the data were collected. Including a small map of the Hudson River watershed showing the spot is encouraged; include other area(s) if comparisons are being made.
    • Include how the data were collected, year(s) when they were collected, researchers involved in the project, and any other relevant information.
  4. Data Trends or Comparisons: in 1-5 sentences, describe the trend(s) or comparison(s) in the dataset(s) you used for your project. Examples:
    • The population increased over time with a sharp decrease in 1995;
    • The precipitation was highly variable over time.
    • If you used two datasets for a comparison, how were the data similar? How were they different?
  5. Include a graph or graphs of the data from the Data Sets page, Excel, or any other graphing program.  Be sure to include the source of the graph if you used one someone else created.
  6. Outreach plan: How would you share your creation with nonscientist audiences? Be creative here! For example, would you post a video on YouTube? If so, how would you get people to watch it? Make sure to identify your target audience (e.g., schoolchildren, college students, the general public) and state specifically how your work would reach them.
  7. New questions & hypotheses: When you look at data closely, you'll inevitably start asking more questions.  'Why did the numbers go down in 2003?' Or, 'What's happening in Beacon to make the site so different from others?' Remember -- for your creative work, you're job is just to describe the data.  The poster is your place to ask 'Why?' and 'What's up with that?'  Then brainstorm some hypotheses.  This is what your brain comes up with when you ask that 'Why?' question.  You start thinking 'Maybe...'  That 'maybe' is your hypothesis.  Include one or more of your hypotheses here!
  8. Brief reflection (1-2 paragraphs) on the process of synthesizing data and finding ways to present it. Which part was the most fun? What challenges did you have along the way? What did you learn? What other questions do you now have?


The poster and associated materials for your project must be submitted electronically by June 2, 2014. Project Posters, physical materials, electronic media (videos, songs, etc), and all necessary equipment to display your project (laptops, power cords, etc) should be brought to Marist College’s Student Center on Saturday, June 14, 2014 between 12:00-1:30 p.m. Table space and a limited number of extension cords will be provided.

The Data Jam event will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m.

 

Eligibility

Students

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.

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.

Teams

All projects for the Hudson Data Jam Competition are entered by teams. Teams may be of any size, from a single individual to, for example, an entire science class or art club.

Multiple project entries may be submitted from the same class and even the same teacher or adult advisor. This means that a single class may be divided into several groups, with each group submitting their own project entry. However, each student may only be part of a single team, and each team may only submit one project entry.

Multi-grade teams will be accepted and 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.

Registration Period

Registration for the Hudson Data Jam Competition is required. All registrations must be completed no later than April 25, 2014.

Acceptable Data

We have compiled Hudson River watershed data from a variety of sources for your use. This data will 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 data collected in the Hudson River watershed and allow assessment of either a trend through time or across a spatial range or a comparison between times or sites. Fabrication of data will result in elimination from the Hudson Data Jam Competition.

Project Entry Period

Project entries for the Hudson Data Jam Competition must be submitted online no later than June 2, 2014.

Prizes

Merit Prizes

Middle School Competition
1st Place - $500
2nd Place - $300
3rd Place - $100

High School Competition
1st Place - $500
2nd Place - $300
3rd Place - $100

People’s Choice Award

Award TBD

Judging

The Hudson Data Jam emphasizes creativity in presenting data, which begins with the ability to understand and interpret data. These skills—understanding, interpreting, and presenting data—are essential in today’s world, where all sorts of misleading “facts” are only a click away, and our ability to collect data outpaces our ability to make it understandable for a public audience.

Scientific merit – 35%

    • Does the project clearly describe a trend or make a comparison?
    • Is the description of the trend or comparison valid and accurate?
    • How complex is the story told? Was a single data set used or multiple? Did the student use the data to create their own graphic or display, or did they reprint a provided graph?

Creativity – 35%

    • How creative and original is the project idea?
    • How successfully does the project communicate the data to a non-scientist audience?
    • Were there unique aspects, or unusual materials or resources used in an effective way?

 Poster – 20%

    • Are the data introduced thoroughly and clearly?
    • Are all of the eight required components included?
    • Is the display visually appealing and well organized?
    • Is the poster free from obvious errors and spelling mistakes?

 Outreach Plan – 10%

    • How well-thought out is the plan? Is the target audience identified, with a specific mechanism to get the project to that audience?
    • How large and/or important of an audience could be reached and how effectively?

 

People's Choice Award

Award will be chosen by the attendees at the Hudson Data Jam Competition and open to projects from any academic level. Bringing extra family and friends in hopes that they’ll vote for you is encouraged; bribing your little brother to do so is not.

**Note: The People’s Choice Award will only be available to projects brought and presented at the Hudson Data Jam Competition on June 14, 2014.

Ties

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 both merit prizes and the People’s Choice Award will be announced at the Hudson Data Jam Competition on June 14, 2014 at Marist College from 2:00pm-4:00pm. Prizes will be distributed following winner announcements. Merit prize project winners who are not in attendance at the Hudson Data Jam Competition will be contacted via their team advisor’s provided e-mail address within 72 hours following the Hudson Data Jam Competition 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. Should a participant lose track of their consent form, the form can be downloaded and printed from here.

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 April 30, 2014.  These forms may be scanned and e-mailed to caryeducation@caryinstitute.org or mailed to the following address:

Samantha Root
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.

Plagiarism

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 graphs or 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. Any standard citation form is permissible (APA, MLA, etc.)

Citations

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, Artists’ Workshop, Hudson Data Jam Competition, 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.

 

Questions?

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

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