LabXchange convenes a community that believes in the importance of education. One of our collaborators, DataClassroom, is on a mission to teach data skills in math and science. We sat down with them to discuss their mission, their content, and DataClassroom cofounder Aaron Reedy's previous work as an evolutionary field biologist.
What's one thing LabXchange users should know about DataClassroom?
DataClassroom is a collaboration between former high school science teachers and top software engineers. The everyday problems that middle and high school teachers face when using real data in the classroom are what led to the creation of DataClassroom.
What's one fun fact about DataClassroom?
The idea for DataClassroom was born when co-founder Aaron Reedy and his high school students were conducting an experiment to learn about how female lizards choose where to lay their eggs. The class collected over 140 lizard eggs and their findings were in the journal Behavioral Ecology.
What is DataClassroom’s vision for science education?
DataClassroom’s vision for science education is that kids will routinely learn science by doing science. They want designing experiments and collecting and analyzing data to be the backbone of science education.
Who are your scientific inspirations?
Reading The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner inspired DataClassroom cofounder Aaron Reedy to become an evolutionary field biologist. The book chronicles the work of Rosemary and Peter Grant as they observe natural selection in real time with finches in the Galapagos Islands. After reading that book, Reedy began field research in evolutionary biology with wild reptiles as a summer hobby while teaching high school biology. Reedy went on to earn a PhD in evolutionary biology and track the survival of more than 18,000 lizards from birth to death.
Aaron, what was the first science experiment you remember?
It might not have been my first science experiment, but it is still my most memorable one. In 2008 I traveled 1,000 miles on the Mississippi River by kayak to collect water samples for a study that I designed as part of a teacher fellowship. I learned so much from that summer of doing science and it completely changed the way I taught. From then on the main thing I wanted my high school students to learn was that science is something that you do!
Tell us what motivates you to continue creating/communicating your amazing content!
It’s the fun of doing experiments and the wonder and aha moments that come when analyzing data. Everything we do at DataClassroom is aimed at making it easier for teachers to create the conditions for those moments to occur in classrooms.
What's your favorite science joke/pun?
If at first you don’t succeed, try at least two more times so that your failure is statistically significant.
Do you want to check out DataClassroom datasets and activities on LabXchange? Visit their collaborator page.
Who are the LabXchange content collaborators? View our growing list of content collaborators here.