Image: A Cary Academy team took first place for high schools in the 2023 N.C. Education Datathon.
The N.C. Department of Information Technology, in partnership with The Hunt Institute, sponsored the N.C. Education Datathon competition on March 6-7. Nine teams of high school and college students used publicly available data to develop solutions to educational disparities.
This year’s theme was Ensuring Student Access to Out-of-School Resources and Supports.
Fourteen NCDIT volunteers helped mentor the student teams as they used datasets to visualize where students in North Carolina lack access to key out-of-school resources, such as parks, after-school programs and libraries. They also analyzed data on students’ academic achievement and socioeconomic variables, such as transportation access and sleep quality.
NCDIT Secretary Jim Weaver encouraged students to pursue public service, implementing data-driven decision-making in government.
"Our workforce needs critical thinkers equipped to use emerging technologies well, and our education system needs data-driven solutions to eliminate inequities and ensure all students receive a quality education," Weaver said. "This event empowers the student participants to become those problem-solvers who can benefit education and many other areas of our state and economy."
The student teams presented their findings to a panel of expert judges, including Nitya Ganapathy, analytics director with the N.C. Government Data Analytics Center; Dr. John Denning, senior advisor of the John M. Belk Endowment; and Jay Johnson, program manager with the Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration, N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
The winning teams were:
- High school first place: Cary Academy
- High school runner-up: North Carolina School of Science and Math
- Post-secondary first place: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Enloe High School
- Post-secondary runner-up: University of North Carolina-Charlotte and North Carolina State University