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Frequently Asked Questions


Are Cary Institute educators available to help?

Yes. Cary Institute educators are delighted to answer any questions you have via e-mail or phone (845 677-7600 x 303), including questions about the data. In many cases we are able to send specific questions about the data directly to the researchers who collected the data. Depending on our availability, we may also be able to visit your classroom to help with projects. To increase your chances of securing a classroom visit, please register by February 5.

Can I register and participate independently of my teacher or class?

Yes. Any middle or high school student or student team is eligible to participate. You do not have to register through your teacher. You do, however, need to have an adult represent your team as an advisor. This can be a parent or another trusted adult.

What do the different dataset levels mean?

The simple answer is this:

  • Level 1= Easy,
  • Level 2= Moderate
  • Level 3=Challenging

Dataset levels are derived by looking at the number of variables in the dataset and by the sheer amount of data collected. Most middle schoolers will be successful with a Level 1 or 2 dataset, and the appropriate level for high schoolers depends on their data experience and determination. Drop us a line if you need help selecting an appropriate dataset.


I need to submit my parental consent forms. How can I send it in?

You can send us your parental consent forms by e-mail (

Project Submission

How do I submit projects?

Projects are submitted to the “Hudson Data Jam 2021 Submissions” Google Drive folder. You will directly upload projects to your school’s folder. All written or visual files must be submitted as a PDF, and all videos must be submitted as a YouTube link. See Project Submission for specific instructions.

Why do projects need to be submitted online?

All projects must be submitted online because judging for merit prizes takes place online. This means that all of the files you submit online must clearly show your project in its entirety because that is how the judges will see it. If you create a 3-D object, send us lots of photos so we can see it from all angles. You will have the chance to share your projects at the Expo & Awards Ceremony on May 21. We hope to see you there!

Note: We will make an announcement later in the spring if we are able to do an in-person Expo & Awards Ceremony.

How should a team present their creative data display digitally so they can submit it online?

It's up to students to determine the best way to view their project online. Most participants choose to either photograph or video record their work. Participants usually take photographs of their comic strips, dioramas, sculptures, and paintings, or record a YouTube video with a quick narration describing their project. Students also record YouTube videos of their choreographed dances, puppet shows, movies, original songs, and stop-motion videos.

Remember, the judges will be determining prize winners based on what you upload online, so be sure that they include a narrative description of pieces as needed. Take a look at our 2014-2019 Winning Projects Gallery for ideas about how to display projects digitally.


Are participants required to attend the Data Jam Expo?

No. Students are still eligible to receive merit prizes regardless of their attendance at the Data Jam Expo. However, the door prizes and the People's Choice Awards will only be given to students present at the Data Jam Expo. All prize winners will be announced at the event and on the Data Jam Facebook page shortly after the event. 

In the event that there is an in-person Expo & Awards Ceremony, are there any scholarships available to help fund my travel to the Data Jam Expo?

Travel scholarships will be available for students who live over 40 miles away and demonstrate financial need. Send us an e-mail at for more information about travel scholarships.

What should participants bring to the Data Jam Expo?

(This only applies if we are able to have an in-person Expo; status TBD later in the spring.)

Students should create a tri-fold poster board display (no larger than 36" tall by 48" wide) that contains all of the components of the report. This should look very similar to a science fair poster display and make it easy for visitors to see the information in the report. In addition, students should bring all of the materials they need to present their creative data display. If they submitted a YouTube video, they might want to bring a laptop computer and a pair of headphones for visitors to watch and listen to the video. Be sure to bring any computer chargers or electrical equipment needed. We will have tables and electric outlets available.

Students are also encouraged to bring their family and friends to the event. This is their chance to show off their work and also see the work of other students in the competition…and there will be snacks!


When is the next virtual Data Jam workshop for teachers?

Check our workshop schedule or sign up to receive email updates through our Ecosystem Teaching Newsletter. These workshops are optional, but highly recommended for new Data Jam teachers. Additionally, we encourage you to join our Data Jam Network Facebook group, where we will be posting opportunities for webinars geared towards students and instructors.