This summer, I had the pleasure of working on a research team with the goal of advancing the science of learning data science. We took a step in that direction with our 2021 DataWhys Internship Program for LeMoyne-Owen College, a private historically black college located in Memphis, TN.
Our program consisted of two phases: 1) learning data science and 2) using respective knowledge gains to produce pro bono data solutions for community partners. All communication was hosted on the digital platforms Discord and Zoom.
The first phase consisted of Jupyter notebooks written in Python and was taught using Blockly. The material consisted of introduction and worked example modules. You can access all of this and more using our GitHub repository!
In the second phase, we worked with community partners A Betor Way and Restoration Time Family Youth Services. This part of the project acted as a service learning component for the students, and generated valuable insights for the partners. Based on preliminary data, phase 2 influenced interns’ perspective on data science’s power to have a local impact and increased their interest in social justice work.