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Getting Started: Advisor Resources

Teachers of any subject or parents/guardians can get their students involved in the Data Jam.

Whether your students focus on historical trends, scientific poetry, or creative mathematical visualizations, we want to support you and your students throughout this competition! 

We've gathered the following resources to help you on your journey.

  • Contest Essentials is an overview of the contest and what’s new this year.
  • Data Jam Guidebook contains complete contest information.
  • We have a special “advisors-only” Google Drive Folder with sample graphs for most of the datasets. Please email us to receive access.
  • Learn how participation in Hudson Data Jam can fulfill NYS Science Learning Standards.
  • We asked veteran Data Jam coaches to share their advice. Read their tips on how to Jam.
  • A curated list of recorded webinars that can help you and your students kick start your Data Jam journey.
  • How can you spark students' creativity? Wassaic Project, a local artist residency, has excellent educational resources that can help anyone think outside the box.

How to support a great Data Jam project

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with the resources provided here.

Step 2

 Watch our recorded webinars (optional!)

Step 3

Support your students in their projects.

We encourage you to register early by Wednesday, November 15, 2023 and schedule a classroom visit with Cary educators, and to email us if you have any questions about the data or your projects.

Step 4

Register your student(s)for the competition by by Friday, January 12, 2024.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how many teams of students you’ll have or what they’ll be studying yet. Registering tells us that you’re planning to get involved and gives us a chance to help your teams out. This also helps us plan the Awards Ceremony & Celebration and the contest judging.

Step 5

Submit parental consent forms.

Confirm that all parents/guardians have submitted an electronic consent form by no later than February 8, 2024.

Additional resources

These worksheets and lessons may help students work through understanding Data Jam, choosing an appropriate dataset level, getting to know their datasets, and graphing their data.

Data support
  • Getting to Know your Dataset: This worksheet guides a student through getting to know their dataset, from prior knowledge to understanding the metadata to graphing the data and analyzing the graph.
  • Graph Choice Chart: This paper from the November 2014 issue of The Science Teacher has a chart that helps students choose the best type of graph for their particular science question.
  • Choosing the Best Graphs and Statistical Tests: We hope this powerpoint will be useful for both teachers and students.
  • Student Planning Sheet: This planning tool can help your classes break Data Jam down into small digestible steps with concrete deadlines.
  • Ecology Lesson Plans: We have developed hundreds of ecology lesson plans, many of which incorporate locally collected, authentic scientific data.This site includes dozens of Hudson River ecology lesson plans, many of which discuss Data Jam topics like zebra mussels and tidal marshes.
  • Guided-Inquiry Graphing Puzzles: Give your students practice interpreting unusual Hudson River phenomena from the HRECOS ecological monitoring system. These puzzles were developed and graciously shared by Steve Stanne, Education Coordinator of the Hudson River Estuary Program.
Artistic support
  • Need data visualization inspiration? Check out these scientist-artists who incorporate data stories in creative ways:
    • Jill Pelto - Jill's art focuses on climate change; she utilizes color pencil.
    • Hara Woltz - Hara's work focuses on conservation and climate change; her art includes drawings and collage.
    • Dear Data - "Dear Data is a year-long, analog data drawing project by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, two award-winning information designers living on different sides of the Atlantic."
  • Wassaic Project - A local artist residency in Wassaic, NY. Check out their website for all kinds of artistic inspiration, both in their "Education" materials and scrolling through the work of their current residents. You can also check out this webinar by WP Co-director, Bowie Zunino.
  • Apps:
    • Procreate - This is an app for digital painting, drawing, & animation
    • Canva - This app is especially great for infographics and other visual content.
  • YouTube:
    • Science Filmmaking: Tips & Tricks: The stop-motion video on this YouTube channel is great!
    • Proko - YouTube videos for how to develop sketching skills
    • Art Assignment - Engaging episodes about art and history that can spark creativity!
    • Crash Course - These aren't how-to videos, but these educational videos are good models for excellent communication and creativity.

Don't hesitate to reach out ( with any questions that you or your students have about the competition or the individual datasets. Since most of the data were collected by Cary scientists, we can forward your questions to the appropriate person to get your students the most helpful answers about the science.

Finally, if you are using an amazing resource that isn't listed above, please share it with us via email so we can add it. We welcome your contributions to build and strengthen the Hudson Data Jam community!