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Rules & Regulations


The Hudson Data Jam Competition is open to all current middle and high school students (grades 6-12). The Junior Data Jam is open to elementary school students (grades 4-5).

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 4-12) teachers of all subject areas are encouraged to get their students involved. Adult advisors can be teachers, parents, guardians, or other mentors.

Registration Period

Registration for the Hudson Data Jam Competition is required, and due no later than January 12, 2024. Advisors who register by the early bird deadline, November 22, will be eligible for a free classroom visit (in person or virtual) by a Cary Institute educator to introduce Data Jam or assist with student projects. These are offered on a limited basis.

Project Entry Period

Project entries for the Hudson Data Jam and Junior Data Jam competitions are due online by 11:59PM EST on February 22, 2024.

Student Privacy

Student privacy is important to us. All adult team advisors will receive a unique link to a digital parental/guardian consent for permission for 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. Projects cannot be judged without completed consent forms for all students.

Team advisors are asked to distribute the digital consent form to all students' guardians and follow up with families to secure consent from guardians. 

Publicity & Rights

By entering a project (project entries include the written component and the creative component) 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 and educational 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. Anonymized student project submissions may also be used for educational purposes as part of Cary Institute education programming. 


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) collected by a group of researchers. Students are also welcome to use any of the images provided on the “Datasets” page 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.