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MEI Introduction to Data Science pilot

MEI has developed a bank of resources to introduce A level Mathematics students to Data Science. This is aimed at students who have studied the first year of A level Mathematics and can be completed in the summer term of year 12 or over the summer break between years 12 and 13. The materials were trialled by schools in summer 2020.

The resources are designed to be studied independently and are suitable to set to students who are working remotely.

The aim of these materials is to give students a greater appreciation of the importance of data science to support them in making informed choices about future study/career options. They also give students an opportunity to explore the A level Large Data Sets in more detail.

Content of the materials

The materials feature activities that use the A level Large Data Sets as a starting point. Throughout the resources there are examples using the data sets for each specification: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, and OCR(MEI). The activities introduce the use of Python for exploring data but no prior knowledge of programming in Python is expected from students or teachers.

The materials are split into 8 lessons:

  1. Introduction to Data Science
  2. Pre-processing and cleaning data
  3. Cleaning, formatting and grouping data
  4. Data presentation/visualisation
  5. Exploring association
  6. The Data Science cycle
  7. Introduction to machine learning
  8. What's next with Data Science

The lessons include Meet a Data Scientist videos featuring practising data scientists talking about their work.

Accessing the materials

The pilot materials are available via Integral. Schools/colleges require either a subscription to Integral or access with a free account through registering with the AMSP.

  • Integral subscribers: Introduction to Data Science is in the list of courses in User Management. The course can be added to teacher and student accounts via groups in the usual way.
  • AMSP-registered free access to Integral: Introduction to Data Science should appear in the list of courses for both the teacher account and the student account. Students will need to be given the login details to the student account (prefix amst-) so they can access the materials

These resources were enabled by the Arm School Program.

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More information

For more information about MEI's data science work please contact Tom Button, MEI’s Mathematics Technology Specialist.