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MEI Introduction to Data Science Short Course

MEI has developed a free course to introduce A level Mathematics students to Data Science. The course is freely available on this site: Introduction to Data Science Short Course.

The course consists of 8 lessons of short videos and programming tasks (in Python). It is designed to be studied independently and can be completed in the summer term of year 12 or over the summer break between years 12 and 13.

The aim of this course 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. It also gives students an opportunity to explore the A level Large Data Sets in more detail.

Resources

The course consists of 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 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).
  • An introduction to the use of Python for exploring data (no prior knowledge of programming in Python is expected from students or teachers).
  • Meet a Data Scientist videos featuring practising data scientists talking about their work.

These resources were enabled by the Arm School Program.

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Report on the pilot phase

The materials were piloted with over 100 schools and colleges in summer 2020. See the report on the pilot phase for more information and the feedback from students and teachers.

Support for teachers

The course includes support for teachers. This page also has links to recordings of the three webinars for teachers from May and June 2021:

  • The Introduction to Data Science Short Course – Explores the course and describes some of the ways that you can use it with your students.
  • Data Science concepts covered by the course – A more detailed look at the ideas in the course and how they’re developed.
  • Programming in the Introduction to Data Science Short Course – Provides guidance about how to use Kaggle and support with the Python code used throughout the course.

MEI Data Science Taught Course

In the autumn term of 2021 we are planning to run a Data Science Taught Course. This course will be aimed at year 13 A level Mathematics students and follows on from the successful self-study Introduction to Data Science Short Course that we piloted in summer 2020.

The Taught Course will feature weekly online lessons, with supporting study material, over the Autumn term. The students will be assessed through both project work and examination in January or February of 2022. The teaching and marking of the assessment will be offered by MEI tutors, though schools will be expected to administer the examination. Places on this course will be limited.

For more information about the data science taught course and to express an interest in your students studying the course in the autumn term please see the links below:

Contact details

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