DJRFF announces PhD opportunity to evaluate and develop data science course

DJRFF is taking part in a major research project to evaluate and develop its new data science curriculum. The registered charity has partnered with Loughborough University to offer a three-year funded doctoral studentship to an outstanding researcher.


He or she will evaluate the impact of the foundation’s work to increase motivation and ambition among young people to further studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.


The individual will also contribute to the future development of the curriculum, which was launched in September 2018 to introduce pupils aged 11 to 14 to key concepts and methods in data science.


The Get Creative with Data course is now being taught in eight secondary schools across South Yorkshire and there are plans to roll it out more widely in the coming months.

DJRFF provides schools with detailed educational materials, hardware such as Raspberry Pi microcomputers and environmental sensors, one-to-one teacher training and technical support.


Professor Tim Jay, of the Centre for Mathematical Cognition at Loughborough University, is supervising the project and has background in psychology and education.


He said: “The UK needs more STEM students – it’s important for the economy as there is growing evidence that STEM businesses are struggling to recruit.


“As a former secondary school maths teacher, I know the value of well-designed activities in the classroom to help children engage with maths and science.


“DJRFF’s direct link to an employer, WANdisco plc, makes the curriculum relevant to the needs of the tech sector and helps children to see the point of what they are studying.


“The recent election scandals involving Big Tech companies show that an understanding of data science is important to everyone’s future.”

According to the Royal Society, demand for workers with specialist data skills like data scientists and data engineers has more than tripled over five years .

According to the Royal Society, demand for workers with specialist data skills like data scientists and data engineers has more than tripled over five years .


David and Jane Richards said: “We want to make computer science fun, exciting and relevant because we need people from all backgrounds to join our growing industry and help solve the challenges of the world.


“We are looking forward to working with Tim and the team at Loughborough University to evaluate and develop our curriculum to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and engineers.”


Loughborough University is inviting applications from students with experience of working with secondary school children. Research methods will include surveys, observations, interviews and focus groups. The deadline is March 2.


More details on the post can be found here .