Making it COUNT: Celebrating All Participants

As we wrap up the Let’s Make it COUNT initiative, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the winning entries and ALL the participants who made this effort such a rewarding experience. 

When we first started this journey, we set out to partner with the Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools program, and create a Data Competition for High School Students to coincide with the 2020 Census. Our original plan was to create an in-person engagement model inspired by the 1300+ Census Partnership Specialists visiting classrooms across the country and Census educational materials reaching every public school (all 130,930!) — plus the many libraries and community centers mobilizing for the count. With the pandemic, our implementation had to change, but our goal remained the same: help ensure that one’s zipcode does not determine their access to opportunity and data literacy skills. 

Here’s a snapshot of Let’s Make it COUNT, by the numbers:

Community feedback for the design and launch of the initiative at SXSW 2019, with sessions focused on the impact of the Census, public-private partnerships, and local government innovation: with 73,716 conference participants and a series of events drawing an estimated 417,400 attendees, we’re thankful for the SXSW team and partners at Capitol Factory for hosting us and featuring Let’s Make It COUNT.

Teacher input and connections from the National Data Science Education Workshop at UC Berkeley: we were excited to connect with 60+ universities, colleges, and schools in 2019, and 292+ institutions at the global online workshop in 2020. Special thanks to the high school teachers making time for early feedback and the dozens of UC Berkeley undergraduates who prototyped Jupyter Notebooks and lesson plans.

143,000+ digital impressions of Let’s Make it COUNT content through our joint outreach with the Census Bureau and partners. This includes the West Big Data Innovation Hub’s first syndicated podcast series, available online to stream or download.

9,600+ views of the Let’s Make it COUNT Virtual Summit (including on-demand viewership to date). We were thrilled to partner with Canva, Mapbox, Tableau, and StatQuest to provide new video tutorials and resources available during and beyond the competition.

Combined reach: 43 States and District of Columbia from the Virtual Summit, Data Stories Podcast, and other digital channels. 

We’re most excited about the breadth of student and teacher entries — and the enthusiastic ambassadors and collaborators who made submissions like these (announced by our Census Bureau partners during the recent Open Data Week!) possible:

Shreya Singh created an interactive website with multiple sources of data to raise awareness of socioeconomic factors and underserved communities.

Akshra Paimagam designed and produced a detailed infographic combining Census data and health data. 

Rujula Yete built an interactive website with Census data to explore national-scale access to education. Rujula also served as a Let’s Make it COUNT Junior Ambassador to recruit additional participants.

In our Educator category, artist Anu Annam developed a bi-lingual comic series to explain the importance of the Census through visual storytelling.

We send our sincere gratitude for your creativity and commitment. Not only did you show up and participate in the Data Competition, but collectively, your interest and support also contributed to a larger effort to advance data science education opportunities in K-12 schools. As we look towards next steps, Let’s Make it COUNT is excited to be part of a coalition of education leaders, policymakers, and advocates supporting an open-to-all Call for Commitments and continued action to advance K-12 data science education. We hope you’ll consider participating in the upcoming community activities with us. 

We’re grateful for your partnership and all you continue to do to make it COUNT!

Best Regards,

The Let’s Make it COUNT Team

About the West Big Data Innovation Hub: 

The West Big Data Innovation Hub is one of four regional hubs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and strengthen strategic partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits, and government. The West Hub community aims to catalyze and scale data science for societal needs – connecting research, education, and practice in thematic areas such as natural resources and hazards, metro data science, health, and data-enabled discovery and learning. Coordinated by UC Berkeley’s Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the University of Washington, the West Hub region includes contributors and data enthusiasts from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and a global network of partners.

Related Links:

West Big Data Innovation Hub: westbigdatahub.org

Lets Make it Count: https:letsmakeitcount.org

National Science Foundation: www.nsf.gov/

The Big Data Innovation Hubs: bigdatahubs.org