Tuva Labs' data sets are accessible for upper elementary through high school classrooms and across subject levels. You will want to set aside prep time to explore the data and (probably) create your own activity. Cross-curricular applications are obvious. Are your fourth-graders studying colonial America? Link math and history goals using the "Tobacco and Jamestown Economy" data set. Working on natural disasters in MS? Access data sets on hurricanes and earthquakes while also exploring CCSS on statistical variability and distribution. Secondary science teachers will find lots of real-world data related to human impact (energy consumption, greenhouse gases, and so on).

For more focused math practice (graphs, linear functions, data analysis) have small groups of students interact with data sets they (pre-)select. Turn to the "Model Shop" collection for sense-making examples of mathematical modeling. Consider uploading your class' own data sets for further exploration; just don't forget a coordinating worksheet or journal entry.

Continue readingTuva Labs provides access to more than 300 curated data sets -- with coordinating online student activities for some -- on topics as varied as gender identity and atmospheric CO2. Filters are available for subject, grade range, data set size, and more. The amount of data per set varies from less than 10 cases to thousands and from two to more than 20 attributes. There are also a few collections, offering themed activities across multiple data sets.

Activities provide guided questions to support data set manipulation and interpretation. Teachers can use a provided template to create new activities or modify existing ones. Teachers and students can also upload their own data sets, although activities can’t be made for these. The teacher dashboard has tabs for each class, providing management for classes as well as students. Video tutorials, webinars, and a glossary are available on the resources page.

Data literacy is crucial, and Tuva Labs has huge potential for developing these skills. Their curated offerings make real data accessible, parceling it into chunks more manageable than many source sites. You can start with data on only 3,500 women from 1900–2000, instead of tackling the entire U.S. Census Bureau. Further, the intuitive interface makes data-play feasible and fun for kids.

Unfortunately, most of Tuva's data sets lack coordinated activities, and the practice that is available is often at an exploratory level. Expanding the topics in Data Tutorial 101 could support students (and teachers) in both understanding raw data and interpreting it to find valid relationships among attributes. Expert-created activities would support in-class learning, and posting (and vetting) activity keys could reassure any hesitant educators.