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Virtual Hudson Data Jam: Creatively sharing science stories of the Hudson Valley

Cary Institute launches 9th annual Hudson Data Jam competition for 4th-12th grade students.

The Hudson Data Jam competition is an opportunity for students in grades 4-12 to explore ecological datasets, creatively communicate the stories they tell, and win cash prizes. Write a song, record a video, create a book, paint a mural – your imagination is the limit!
The 2021-2022 Hudson Data Jam will be 100% virtual. Students can participate individually or in groups – from two children working together, up to a whole class. Projects will be judged by scientists, artists, and educators. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top elementary, middle school, and high school projects. Register by February 22, 2022 to participate.

For Teachers

Cary educators are available to support students’ Data Jam journey with virtual or in-person classroom visits. Teachers, please register by November 12th to secure a classroom session. Slots are limited.

New this year: Junior Data Jam

For grades 4-5, we are offering ‘Junior Data Jam’. With this modified program, students will create a single graph, provide a brief interpretation of the patterns they observe, and produce a creative project with a short explanation. Students can work individually or in groups.

The Data

Scientists are collecting data around us all the time. Hidden in those numbers are stories that reveal how the world works. Are birds arriving earlier in the spring? How does salinity shape fish diversity in the Hudson River estuary? Students can access these and many more ecology datasets on Cary Institute’s website. Datasets fall into three levels of complexity: 1 - easy, 2 - moderate, and 3 - challenging. Cary educators can help students select an appropriate dataset; email Ashley Alred at for assistance.

Webinar series

Whether you are new to Data Jam or a seasoned participant, check out our  'Data Jamming: Creatively Sharing Science Stories of the Hudson Valley' webinar series for teachers, parents, caregivers, and interested students. These freely accessible webinars are available online to help participants learn more about the Hudson Data Jam competition, plus tips for engaging and supporting students as they develop questions, explore their local environment, and communicate what they find.

Deadlines & Dates

November 12, 2021 – *For educators: Early registration deadline to be considered for a classroom visit. (Sessions can be in person or virtual.)
February 22, 2022 – Competition registrations and parent/guardian consent forms due.
March 8, 2022 – Project submissions due online by 11:59 pm EST.
March 31, 2022 – Virtual Data Jam Awards Ceremony & Celebration. All prizes will be awarded during the virtual event.
We invite all Data Jammers to visit our Hudson Data Jam Facebook page for updates.
If you have questions, email Ashley Alred at, or message us through our Hudson Data Jam Facebook page.
Thank you to our generous Data Jam supporters: Price Chopper's Golub Foundation, Adams Fairacre Farms, Central Hudson, and The Chazen Companies.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is an independent nonprofit center for environmental research. Since 1983, our scientists have been investigating the complex interactions that govern the natural world and the impacts of climate change on these systems. Our findings lead to more effective management and policy actions and increased environmental literacy. Staff are global experts in the ecology of: cities, disease, forests, and freshwater.