We call upon all students and teachers to use computational thinking skills, combined with math, science, geography and climate change knowledge to find solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 – “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”

As Canada and the World find its way out of the COVID pandemic and new ways for sustainable development, the need for fair and equitable housing has become increasingly apparent. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. projects the nation will need an additional 5 million housing units by 2030 to accommodate a growing population. Average Canadian house prices soared to $816,720 in March 2022, representing a 20% increase in a single year.

Fair housing is far reaching, covering many subtopics including (but not limited to):

  • Determining the role of co-living and co-working arrangements in the future of housing
  • Increasing survivability of housing structures in the uptick in natural disasters as a result of climate change;
  • Analyzing the future of housing in urban centres, the prairies and the newly-thawed permafrost in the Arctic;
  • Determining the role of smart home and metaverse technologies in the modern home;
  • Lowering the cost of housing as Canada enters a potential economic recession.
  • Improving heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies to prevent the spread of airborne viruses, such as COVID-19 and to ensure high standards of living;
  • Ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities in new housing developments;
  • Creating safe and enjoyable spaces to play, unwind and socialize; and,
  • Designing beautiful and appreciable architecture for all, including reflections of Indigenous cultures.

Sign In First – Get It All

Let’s Talk Science is sponsoring the participation fee of the first 250 teams. Following that, the participation fee is $45 per student.


The High School Big Data Challenge awards high school students for their achievements in Big Data Inquiry and Computational Thinking. It encourages them to pursue their studies in analytics and computational science. Award recipients are selected based on demonstrated research, computational methods, and science communication. It is our intention to organize in-person finals this year if the public health situation remains favorable for Canada East (Toronto), and Canada West (Calgary). As our awards fund grows, monetary prizes now reach $15,000, as well as open access scholarly publishing awards worth $12,000.


Registration Window

September 1, 2022 – October 29, 2022

Students form teams of 2-5 and register them online.

Information Sessions

September 17, 2022 – October 8, 2022

Challenge Period

October 29, 2022 – January 15, 2023

During this time, students will:

Crowdsource resources and investigate analytics tools (SAS, Python, R, etc.), choosing one to learn and leverage. Educational resources and workshops will be provided covering various data science topics to help with this.

Attend mentor sessions and ask questions to learn more about anything within the realm of data science, its applications, topic ideation and academic writing.

Work on a chosen dataset for 3 months. Work together in a team setting, making use of mentors, teachers and the provided resources to analyze a dataset and propose solutions.

Tell the story of the data discovery through a scientific report. Use Overleaf to prepare the project report, and submit it through the Google Classroom submission dropbox.

Literature Review Submission Deadline

November 26, 2022

Students must submit a literature review, as a progress check, before the deadline (11:59 pm PT) for evaluation and feedback.

Abstract Submission Deadline

December 10, 2022

Students must submit an abstract, as a progress check, before the deadline (11:59 pm PT) for evaluation and feedback.

Project Submission Deadline

January 15, 2023

Students submit their project reports developed in Overleaf before the deadline (11:59 pm PT) for evaluation by a team of academics and industry experts.

Finalist Announcement

January 29, 2023

The finalists (top 20 teams) will be announced! Successful student teams will have the opportunity to present at Big Data Day.

High School Big Data Day

February 11, 2023 @ 10:00 AM ET – Toronto – SciNet Space in the MARS Building

February 26, 2023 @ 10:00AM MT – Calgary – University of Calgary

The Big Data Day will occur in-person, providing finalist teams with the opportunity to present their findings to a panel of judges.


The following events and workshops will be hosted live throughout the competition period at these updated dates:

Kickoff Event and Theme Information

October 30, 2022 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

Workshop 1: Expectations and Submission Perquisites*

November 5, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm PT

Workshop 2: Project Management*
November 5, 2022 @ 5:00 – 6:00 pm PT

Workshop 3: Introduction to Statistics
November 12, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm PT

Workshop 4: Basics of Data Science in Python
November 13, 2022 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm PT

Workshop 5: Ethical AI
Part A: November 19, 2022 @ 4:00-5:00 pm PT

Part B: November 20, 2022 @ 4:00-5:00 pm PT

Workshop 6: Blueprint to a Literature Review*
November 26, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm PT

Workshop 7: Reference Management
December 3, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm PT

Workshop 8: Starting a Manuscript*
December 3, 2022 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm PT

Workshop 9: Editing 101*
December 10, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:00 pm PT

Workshop 10: The Introduction and Conclusion Sections *
December 10, 2022 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm PT

Workshop 11: The Discussion Section*
December 11, 2022 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm PT

Attendance is mandatory at Workshop 1. Your team must also attend at least 2 out of 4 of Workshops 8-11. Attending all other workshops is entirely optional.


This year, we are offering many workshops in an online, e-learning format. Our participants are able to access the content at any time, and learn at their own pace, while getting help from experienced mentors. The following e-learning modules will be offered:

  • What is Data Science?
  • Data Privacy and GDPR
  • Setting up the Environment
  • Relational Databases in SQL
  • Concepts of Dashboarding and Data Visualization
  • Clustering
  • Classification and Logistic Regression
  • Fundamentals of Neural Networks
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Network Science

Our Panelists

Roundtable Discussion Topic:
How do climate change and information technologies alter perception of a home?
In the digital age, how is the perception of home changing and affected by life, work, and health?
In a home that was built with the vision of previous generations, how does youth fit in?

Dr. Joel Martin

Chief Digital Research Officer, National Research Council, Canada

Chantelle Howell

Regional Manager, Mortgage Specialist, RBC

David Lapides

M.A., Vice President, Programs, Let’s Talk Scienc


Mr. David Carter

National Research Council

Ms. Nicole Gerald

Systems Engineer, Cisco


Guests of Honor

Her Honour, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

(Lieutenant Governor of Ontario)

Dr. Daniel Gruner

CTO, SciNet, UofT

Finalists’ Manuscripts

The Influence of a House’s Proximity to Amenities on Educational Attainment and Demographic in the US

Adam Omarali, Haoyang (Leo) Liu, Yiyi Xu, Navid Farkhondehpay, and Zicheng (James) Tian

Investigating the Current Policies to Analyze the Optimum Solution for Restoring the Housing Balance in Vancouver

Zihan Gao, Yutong Cui, and Yuxuan Sheng

A Study of the Correlation between the Census Characteristics and Housing Affordability in Canada

Daisy Li, Peiyong Lin, and Shirley Yang

Developing a Dynamic Framework for Public Rental Housing in Toronto

Minghao Chen, Zhaohan Sun, Andy Tang, and Lelin Zhang

Multivariate Analysis on the Relationship Between Population Demographics and the Housing Market

Sienna Su and Xiaoyu Liu

Greenhouse Gas Emission Induced Thawing Permafrost and its Effects on Housing Safety

Joyi Xue and Irene Chen

Investigating the Correlation Between Various Housing Factors and Life Satisfaction to Build a Model for Sustainable Living

Ibrahim Khawar, Kadhir Ponnambalam, Michael Xiao, Zachary Yu, Vincent Jia

Racial And Socioeconomic Inequality in Housing across Canada

Eric Chau, Zayan Bhuiyan, Kenny Sylvester Jr., and Bjorn Lino

A Statistical Analysis on Thawing Permafrost in Canada’s North and Its Effects on Housing

Errita Xu and Victoria Lu

Removing the negative connotations of subsidized housings and how it’s both beneficial to the impoverished and the communities near

Tom Zheng, Chengtai (Richard) Li, Hudson Haas, and David Shan

Our Panelists

Roundtable Discussion Topic:
How do climate change and information technologies alter perception of a home?
In the digital age, how is the perception of home changing and affected by life, work, and health?
In a home that was built with the vision of previous generations, how does youth fit in?

Dr. Daniel Gruner

CTO, SciNet, UofT

Bill Macgowan

P.Eng., CEM, Director, Smart Connected Real Estate, CISCO

Dr. Bonnie Schmidt

CM, FRSC, Founding President, Let’s Talk Science


Vivek Saahil

Manager – Strategic Business Analysis, Planning & Support, Pratt & Whitney Canada

Raman Pall

Senior Data Scientist, NRC Digital Technologies Research Center

Lubna Rasheed

B. Eng., Senior Software Engineer, Cisco

Greetings from Roda Muse
Secretary General of CC Unesco