The Aim of the Project is to Enable Young People to Engage With Data in a Way That Promotes Skills, Understanding and a Love of Data

Exasol, the high-performance analytics database, has today announced that it has become a national funding partner for not-for-profit organization, Primary Engineer’s, STATWARS® competition. The competition aims to get primary and secondary pupils excited about data by embedding it into the heart of the educational system so they can more inherently develop a better understanding of its value in business and in everyday life.

This is especially important today with recent research from Exasol raising questions about the role that education plays in preparing young people to enter an increasingly data-driven workplace. The study found that 16-to-21-year-olds don’t feel their schooling goes far enough in teaching them the data skills necessary for the workplace, despite half (49%) agreeing that working with data will play a major role in their future career.

It is exactly for this reason that the objective of the STATWARS® competition directly aligns with Exasol’s own belief that this untapped potential could spur a revolution in the way data is used to transform the world around us.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with STATWARS® to support its goal in inspiring and encouraging more young people to get excited by data,” said Peter Jackson, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Exasol. “In today’s increasingly data-driven world, if we do not have the right people with the right skills who know how to process, interpret, and make data actionable, we are in danger of missing out on new ways to solve data challenges and push the boundaries as we know it. That’s why it was important for us to get involved in the STATWARS® competition. The next generation of young prodigies will be our future data champions, playing a significant role in helping to solve some of the world’s most important challenges.”

STATWARS® is a free competition that is open to Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils. Running throughout the 2021/22 UK school year, the competition encompasses two data projects: STATWARS®: Climate Change Challenge, which empowers and educates young people to tackle climate change using data, and STATWARS® Film & TV, which encourages young people to engage with data by designing a film or TV series.

Both projects provide two entry points for young people to become excited about analyzing, interrogating, and presenting data. It does so by promoting an understanding of real-world use of mathematics, allowing pupils to follow simple or complex lines of enquiry from start to finish, conjecture relationships and generalizations in order to develop coherent, justified arguments that are based on thorough data analysis.

STATWARS® provides free teaching resources including lesson plans, activity sheets and video tutorials to unlock the value of data, as well as live interviews with data experts and skills sessions from experts. By connecting with data specialists and industry professionals in the competition pupils access multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace.

Dr Susan Scurlock, Chief Executive at Primary Engineer, welcomed the partnership by saying: “We are delighted that Exasol is supporting the STATWARS® competition. Data analysis is a crucial aspect to many things in everyday life – often in unexpected and surprising ways. That was the starting point for the competition which gives young people the opportunity to analyze their own carbon impact or find the next hit TV show. It encourages them to collect and unpick data then use it to form their outcome and explain their decision. Having Exasol as one of our national partners allows us to link today’s data analysts with tomorrows – helping them build their knowledge and find out how much fun data really is!”

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