Researcher to measure middle schoolers’ data science knowledge in context of social issues

Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens

Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens, assistant professor in Clemson’s education and human development department.
Image Credit: College of Education

A Clemson University faculty member will use an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to examine middle school students’ data science knowledge and practices through the lens of social issues and gauge students’ sense of empowerment to positively change communities through data science.

Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens, assistant professor of learning sciences in the Clemson University College of Education, said it is a common misconception that data is neutral or free from the influence of social issues or that data has no effect on social issues. She said it is often the case that technology informed by data science, such as search engines or facial recognition software, has been shown to either reinforce discrimination or mischaracterize minority groups.

Because humans design these forms of technology and many more make decisions based on them,

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Education researchers to partner with rural schools to make computer science accessible, fun for middle schoolers

Danielle Herro

Danielle Herro serves as associate professor in the Clemson University College of Education.
Image Credit: College of Education

A group of researchers from the Clemson University College of Education will use a more-than-$950,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to partner with rural schools in South Carolina to make computer science fun and accessible to middle school students and those with learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders.

According to Danielle Herro, associate professor in the College and principal investigator on the project, the research aims to help these students hone computer science skills that will likely be useful in many facets of their everyday lives. Herro said that can be achieved through a strong partnership with teachers.

“Data science knowledge certainly helps a person understand computer algorithms, but it can also help them make good decisions about banking, better understand how to protect the environment or understand statistics about how

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