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Left to right: Alianna Holton, Ava Peek, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Christopher Mitchell, Skylas Spratt and Surrey Jones.

This quarter, Chicago high school students have dedicated part of their Saturdays to come to the University of Chicago campus and learn the basics of data science. The Data4All program — co-organized by the DSI, Argonne National Laboratory, the UChicago Office of Civic Engagement, and the Center for Spatial Data Science — bridges the gap between introductory computer science courses and the data science research lifecycle, teaching students how to work with real data and the careers available to them in technical fields.

Two of this fall’s students, Skylar Spratt and Surrey Jones of Kenwood Academy, featured in a news article by the Hyde Park Herald about the partnerships between Argonne and Kenwood, a South Side high school serving over 2300 students. The article highlights the school’s effort to expand their STEM programs, and recaps a November 4th visit to Kenwood by U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Surrey Jones, another Kenwood student in Data4All, talked about a newer project about the way COVID-19 has affected different parts of Chicago and how whether or not people have health insurance affected them during the pandemic.

“In different communities, they have different resources that others don’t,” Jones said. “The West Side might not have the same amount of resources that the South Side has, so there would be a lot more cases on the West Side because they don’t have those resources.”

Jones said Data4All has strongly affected her career interests, in terms of exposure to different kinds of engineering and the way new technologies are changing the world.

“I really didn’t think that data was a big deal. I did not think it was as big as it is, so this has definitely helped me,” she said. “And it’s actually pretty fun exploring. It gives you a lot more knowledge as to what’s happening in the world.”

For more on the Data4All workshop, visit our page and read about the 2021 pilot program.