4 Fascinating Big Data Educational Opportunities For Kids

Get kids interested in big data with these fascinating big data educational opportunities for kids. They'll love them and will love learning about it!

Sean Parker
March 1, 2020
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Big data is starting to have a larger impact on our lives. The market for big data is expected to reach $51.9 billion by 2025.

However, the market for big data is contingent on a new generation being able to understand it. We will rely on children learning the nuances of data and creating new technology that we will all depend on.

Parents and educators have a duty to make sure children grasp the fundamentals of big data. Some of the concepts can be instilled through the lessons listed below.

Projects that Help Children Learn About Big Data

Sanchito Lobo has a good article on teaching children the basics of big data. There are a number of lessons that can focus on this topic. Big data tutorials can be covered through traditional projects.

Every kid is an engineer and an inventor, so they are open to learning about big data too. It is up to the parents to discover those gifts in a kid and to develop them. In that, some engineering ideas can help them learn about big data.

Pick one of the ideas described below, invent your own engineering projects. With them, your kid will get interested in engineering. And for sure, these projects will be a lifetime memory.

A Propeller Car

Most parents want to make something fascinating from materials that are already by hand. A propeller car is one of such things. To make the car, you need:

  • A pack of plastic propellers;
  • Straws;
  • Small wheels;
  • A dowel;
  • Craft cubes and sticks;
  • Rubber bands, several pieces;
  • Tape;
  • Paperclips.

Use craft sticks to make a triangular frame. Attach them one to another with tape. Attach the propeller on the top of the triangle construction. Make sure the propeller can rotate.

Attach the wheels. Connect a rubber band to the frame. Attach the other side to the propeller base. now, you can wind up the propeller to make it rotate.

Important: many bands don’t mean that the car is going to run better. It will run faster, however, too much force will make it move weird enough. Observe with your kids whether the car can move both back- and forwards and whether the speed of the car depends on the winding force and the number of rubbers.

How does big data come into play? You can use machine learning algorithms to drive the propeller. They can change the speed based on various variables in the surrounding environment.

Homemade Robot

A homemade robot could be made not from metal but even from empty can, food container or bottle. We will choose a square container here.

To build a robot with your kid, you’ll need:

  • Empty food container,
  • Two buttons for robot eyes,
  • Aluminum foil,
  • Marker,
  • Glue,
  • Battery,
  • Switcher,
  • Chopsticks,
  • Two bottle caps or two wheels.
  • Wires,
  • Knife.

For human-like walking robot you need to use small actuators and metal wheels, we will choose an easier way to make robot that will be moving due to battery, wiring and wheels.

Make holes for placing wheels in a food container. The holes should be parallel and placed high enough for placing wheels on a chopstick. Make a hole for placing the switch or robot’s back.

Open container and cover it entirely with an aluminum foil. The same do with a container’s cover. Use glue to place robot eyes on the container. Take one chopstick and place it trough the holes for wheels. Use glue to fixate wheels on a chopstick. Instead of wheels you may use two bottle caps of the same size.

Place wiring and battery in the container, set up a switch. Here is the video where you may view how to do it properly.

Close the container with a cap. Your robot is ready to go!

Robotics projects are great for teaching kids about big data. New robots rely heavily on sophisticated AI technology. They can help children learn the basics and find new ways to leverage big data in the future.

A Paddle Boat

One more activity that brings a lot of fun is building a paddle boat. For this activity, you don’t need to buy special tools. All the materials are already available at home.

To build a paddle boat, you need:

  • A plastic bottle;
  • Wooden chopsticks;
  • Scissors;
  • A piece of a rubber band;
  • A ruler and a pencil;
  • A plastic jug.

Start with the plastic jig. Cut out four rectangular pieces out of it. Some people prefer to draw rectangular pieces with a pencil, other people believe that they can cut out the needed shapes without drawing them.

Fold the rectangular pieces in half. Create a cross shape with them, use tape to attach them to each other.

Attach the wooden chopsticks to each side of the bottle. They shall be attached with the tape about ¾ of the bottle`s way down. So, 2-4 inches of the bottle will be free, hanging off the bottle bottom. Now, attach the rubber band to wooden chopsticks.

Now, attach the cross-shaped piece that you have made before to the free sides of the chopsticks. This is the boat`s paddle.

Now, wind up the paddle and observe with your kid whether it can move the boat forward, backward. Check how the speed of the boat changes if you move the rubber closer to the boat`s body. What will happen if you move the paddle farther from the boat`s body?

A Helicopter with Rubber Band

A nice helicopter is rubber-wind. It doesn’t require a battery. The propeller moves because the energy produced from rubber unwinding is applied to it.

Materials needed:

  • A plastic propeller, you can purchase a small pack of them;
  • Craft sticks;
  • A rubber band;
  • Paper clips;
  • Scissors;
  • Tape.

Now, attach the propeller to the craft stick. It shall fit snugly and be able to rotate. You can achieve a good result if you use a paperclip for this purpose.

Make the cutout of the copter body. It shall be just the right, not too big and not too small. The rubber shall not rub against it. It also shall create the needed lateral drag.

Attach the copter paper shape to the paperclip. Now, attach the rubber bands with one side to the paperclip that fixes the propeller, and another side shall be attached to the farther end of the craft stick. Now, you can wind the propeller. The rubber band will start unwinding it. The propeller will start rotating. As soon as the rotation starts, let the helicopter fly.

You can add some advanced elements to your copter or customize its design. Your kids will definitely enjoy it.

Note please that this helicopter might get stuck in the long hair of your child. If the copter is too big or too small, it might have issues with proper flying. And finally, it might not fly simply because the rubber is not wound up enough.

Big Data Can Be Taught To Kids through Various Projects

There are a lot of ways that you can teach children about big data. The projects listed above should help them understand the principles of big data and AI. This will help them become leaders in the emerging big data market in the years to come!