On March 6-7, 2023, The Hunt Institute hosted The NC Datathon in partnership with the Office of Governor Roy Cooper, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, and the Government Data Analytics Center.
The goal of the NC Datathon is to leverage technology and data to develop innovative solutions for addressing complex problems. This event brings together university and student-led teams from across North Carolina and challenges them to solve an education-related problem by using multiple sources of data.
This year, teams used data to construct a statewide Out-of-School Learning Opportunities Index that demonstrated the relative accessibility of out-of-school resources for learning to K-12 students in different communities across the state.
Over the course of two days, 30 students across nine teams worked to develop applications, dashboards, and/or other solutions to the problem, then presented their projects to a panel of expert judges and conference attendees who voted for the best solution and presentation.
Each student team also had access to a group of mentors attending the program. NC Datathon mentors provided guidance, offered suggestions, and served as a sounding board for individual teams while rotating among teams to provide support in the following areas of expertise: project development, data analysis and visualization, application/dashboard development, public speaking, and North Carolina-specific content knowledge.
To kick off Day One, Erica Vevurka, our Director of K-12 at The Hunt Institute, and Jim Weaver, Secretary & State Chief Information Officer at the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, provided welcoming remarks.
Students also heard from NC Governor Roy Cooper, who provided virtual remarks about the importance of data analysts to help NC policymakers as they make decisions that influence their communities.
After Lucy Berrier Matheson, our Deputy Director of K-12 at The Hunt Institute, set expectations for the two-day event, the students split into their team groups and started working on data analysis and visualization for their projects.
Day two started out with more time for teams to develop their presentations before the final submission deadline at 2:30 PM. Teams then presented to our judge panel in the format of a four-minute recorded presentation.
This year’s judges were Jay Johnson, Program Manager at NCDPI, John D. Denning, Senior Advisor at the John M. Belk Endowment, and Nitya Ganapathy, Analytics Director of the Government Data Analytics Center at NCDIT.
After a deliberation period, our judges announced the runner-ups and winners of the 2023 NC Datathon! Winners were split into two categories: high school and postsecondary teams.
The winner of our high school division was “Wrong But Useful,” and the winner of our postsecondary division was “Steminists!” “NCSSM” was the runner-up team for high school, and “Last of Us” was the runner-up for postsecondary.
You can watch all our teams’ presentations on our YouTube page here: 2023 North Carolina Datathon
This event was made possible by the John M. Belk Endowment.
See more photos from teams below.