South Orangetown Central School District

Data Science is a new full year math elective that is now offered to juniors and seniors at Tappan Zee High School. 

 This class will help students understand how to understand and effectively interact with data. Throughout the school year, students will explore data trends by applying their understanding of data analysis, sampling, correlation versus causation, bias and uncertainty, probability and modeling with data. Students will also learn how to explain data trends by communicating and collaborating with their classmates.

 “I really wanted to make this new course a project-based class. The format is similar to a college course so I have students communicating with each other, talking about variables and working together to analyze the data they’re collecting during the various projects we will work on,” explained Math Teacher Kathy Moore, who is teaching the new course. “This class is all about problem-based learning.”

 Last week, students worked in groups to perform a statistical gathering experiment. First, they had to choose an airplane model and make it out of the paper style of their choice. Students participated in four rounds—aim at a target, keep it going in a straight path, how long can it stay in flight and the distance it can reach. They had to make stem-plots of each round of data collection and find extraneous variables that may have influenced their data collection including weather elements if they were outdoors, the weight of the paper they chose, the strength of the person throwing the paper airplane or the airplane design that they chose. Finally, each group had to draw at least four conclusions from the data they collected during all four trials. 

Data Science is one of the five new courses that has been introduced at TZHS since last spring. Stay tuned as we continue to highlight other new course offerings! 

TZHS Data Science Math Elective