DataFace – Bringing Data to Life

04 July 2023

Over the last two years, SHS Computing Department and Year 8/9 students have been involved in a pilot project as part of the Cheltenham Science Festival and CyberFirst scheme. The DataFace project enables young people to tell the stories they care about through interrogation and analysis of data - big and small - and visualise their findings creatively. The students had three datasets to select from; gender equality, communities at risk of sea level rises and environmental protection. DataFace is so inspirational in 'bringing data to life' and enthusing students about something that is, and will continue to be, so incredibly important in Gen Z's future.

In May 2022, Miss Morris took 6 students, selected from the groups who took part, to the Queen’s Hotel in Cheltenham to showcase their work alongside the 3 other schools who participated in the pilot. The showcase was to try and highlight to industry that this was a viable future competition and students were able to take big data, interrogate it and produce wonderfully creative visualisations. The audience was blown away by SHS students work and this helped secure the funding to get the project off the ground.  

In June this year, we took those visualisations and the ones that this year Year 8s have created, to the actual DataFace launch event at the same Queen’s Hotel venue. This time it was teachers who were the audience, to get more Gloucestershire schools taking part in the first proper year as a competition (Sept 2023). Again, there were some very impressed people in the room who admired our students work. 3 students accompanied Miss Morris this time to talk about what they had done and why, and to give a student perspective on what they had enjoyed.

Finally, Miss Morris took a larger group of students to the new DataFace stand at this year’s Science Festival, where they talked with and showed their projects to students and teachers from many other schools who were at the festival that day. The stand stayed open for the entire weekend and received some great feedback.

I don’t think the first cohort of students knew how involved they would end up being when they got involved in the pilot scheme! Many have been featured in teaching resources that have been produced, that will be available to all schools when they sign up, helping teachers implement the project at their respective schools…some were even involved in filmed resources!

Sophia in Year 8 said “DataFace was really fun and enjoyable, it linked in with our school lessons and our HPL skills which made it a valuable experience. My favourite part was seeing my project finally finished and get taken to the Cheltenham Science Festival. At the festival, seeing all the people interested in my piece, was really great. Overall, DataFace was an amazing experience and a great opportunity.”

Stay tuned for more info as DataFace will be growing in size and will become a big competition like FameLab. Next year it could be YOU standing at the Science Festival showcasing your work!


Miss Morris, CTL Computing

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