Cleaner Energy at the Individual and Community Levels

Changing the sources and usage of energy for a better and sustainable future for a

The Big Data Challenge (BDC) for high school students is an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary, experiential learning program that strengthens students’ problem-solving and critical thinking
abilities by working with Open Data. By allowing students to undertake independent research projects that tackle real-world problems, the BDC synergizes with both classroom and extracurricular experiences to foster an active digital citizenship position and prompt new
sustainable development innovative ideas.
Bring your findings into the class, to your peers, and into the community at large.

Under Patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO







Media Coverage

SAS Software

Celebrating The Future of Women in Analytics


Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is crucial to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals – from poverty eradication via advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialization to mitigating climate change. (Education 2030 Agenda) However, it varies significantly due to economic, cultural and education levels.

Open data and analytical methods present a unique opportunity to look at the problem of fair distribution and sustainable use of energy.

Students are free to define their research topics that can address technological, economical and social aspects of Affordable and Clean Energy.

Here are some suggested topics:

  • Energy security and cybersecurity at individual, community, regional and national levels.
  • Clean energy solutions against the impact of pandemic, climate change and other crises.
  • Exploration of options, costs and benefits for 100 percent clean energy in the local community.
  • Personal, family, community, and social network energy consumption and optimization. Comparison of best practices and sustainable energy results in gender, race, differing income groups of students.
  • Advanced vehicle and personal transportation technologies in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and addressing inequalities.


Scholarly publication of winning project manuscripts in the peer-reviewed STEM Fellowship Journal, published by NRC Research Press.

Tokenize your project with a STEM Fellowship NFT (Non-Fungible Token) on a Blockchain Network

CCUNESCO Scholarly Communication Awards

In memoriam of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari

  • 1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

  • 2nd Prize: $250

  • 3rd Prize: $100

Let’s Talk Science Analytics Talent Awards

  • 1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

  • 2nd Prize: $250

  • 3rd Prize: $100

Infor Technological Solutions Award

  • 1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

  • 2nd Prize: $250

  • 3rd Prize: $100

RBC Arnold Chan Memorial Award for Student Innovation

  • $1000 + Publication

Hunter Hub, University of Calgary, Entrepreneurial Thinking Award

  • 1st Prize: $1000 + Publication

  • 2nd Prize: $250

  • 3rd Prize: $100

Digital Science International Excellence In Analytics Award

  • $1000


Information Sessions

September 25  – October 16, 2021

Q&A and sample workshops for teachers and their students about the High School Big Data Challenge. Recordings and material will be provided following the orientation session.

Students and teachers may register HERE.

To view the recordings of each session, click on them below.

  1. Teacher Q&A Session – September 25, 2021 – 7:00 pm EDT (4PM PST)
  2. Data Science Workshop for Teachers – October 2, 2021 – 7:00 pm EDT (4PM PST)
  3. Student Q&A Session – October 9, 2021 – 7:00 pm EDT (4PM PST)
  4. Data Science Workshop + Q&A for Students – October 16, 2021 – 7:00 pm EDT (4PM PST)

Registration Deadline

October 29, 2021 (11:59 PM PST)

Form your team(s) of up to 4 students and register them online HERE.

Team Inquiry with Mentor Support

November 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022

    • Crowdsource resources and investigate analytics tools (SAS, Python, Pandas, etc), choose the one you will learn and use.
      • Workshops covering Data Visualization, Statistics, Python Programming, Data Analysis, SQL, and Scientific Writing Skills will be provided to participants to help with this
      • Obtain certificates from Cisco Networking Academy in Big Data Fundamentals, Empowerment Technologies, Cybersecurity, and more!
    • Attend mentor sessions and ask questions to learn more about anything within the realm of data science and its applications.
    • Learn from talks given by working professionals in the analytics industry from organizations like Gartner, the University of Calgary, and more!
    • Work on your data set for 3 months. Work together with your team, making use of your mentors, teachers, and the provided resources to analyze your data and propose solutions.

Project Submission Deadline

February 1, 2022 (11:59 PM PST)

Submit your project report developed in Overleaf before the deadline (2:59 AM EST on February 2) for evaluation by a team of academics and industry experts

Finalist Announcement

February 18, 2022

The finalists (top 20 teams) will be announced! If selected, your team will have the opportunity to present your work at Big Data Day.

High School Big Data Day

March 5th, 2022 (Tentative)

The Big Data Day will be organized online. The details for the Zoom call will be announced to those attending well before the event.

Previous Big Data Challenge Workshops

Here are samples of last year’s workshops to give you an idea of this year’s live, interactive workshops. This year, we will have workshops that focus on statistics, data manipulation, data analysis, machine learning, and more! We encourage you to read these ahead of time to help prepare you for the upcoming BDC.

Our Panelists

Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, CM, FRSC

Let’s Talk Science

President & Founder

Dr. Bonnie Schmidt is the founder and President of Let’s Talk Science, an award-winning, national charitable organization that she started while completing her PhD in Physiology at Western University. Let’s Talk Science helps children and youth fulfill their potential and prepare for their future careers and citizenship roles by supporting their learning and engagement through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Well over 9 million children, youth and educators have been impacted by Let’s Talk Science since its inception.

Dr. Sacha Noukhovitch

STEM Fellowship

President & Founder

Sacha Noukhovitch is the Founder and President of the STEM Fellowship – a charity organization that equips the next generation of change-makers in STEM with indispensable skills in data science and scholarly writing through peer mentorship and experiential learning. He is also an Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Science Publishing STEM Fellowship Journal – the national scholarly publication of original student research as well as a practicing educator implementing data science education at Earl Haig Secondary School, Toronto.

Wayne Groszko, Ph.D.

Nova Scotia Community College, Canada

Applied Energy Research Scientist

Dr. Groszko works on practical applied research projects in the sustainable energy space with industry partners and a team of researchers, focusing on solar energy, energy storage, energy management and energy data analytics.


Sarah Schoonover

Solution Architect at Infor

Dr. Mark Ebden

Research Analyst, The Hospital for Sick Children

Justin Wang

Product Manager, Senior at Infor

Javad YaAli

ML Scientist at 1QBit

Dr. Clara Santato

Professor at Polytechnique Montreal

Saarthak Sangamnerkar

Machine Learning Engineer at SAP Canada

Hana Gabrielle Bidon

Program Analyst at Wells Fargo.

Faraz Zaidi, Ph.D.

Advisor Health Analytics and Adjunct Professor

Rayshoun Chambers

Executive Vice President, Learning and Development at Blockchain Chamber of Commerce

Philippa Ngaju

Specialist, Health Innovation at the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, University of Calgary

Tugce Vural, Ph.D.

Decision Scientist in Applied Innovation, Infor

Dr. Orion Penner

Senior Data Scientist at Digital Science

Ph. D., Luis V. Montiel

Principal Scientist, Infor

Dr. Ehsan SadrFaridpour

Senior Data Scientist at Infor

Gerrard Marra, P.Eng

Senior Specialist – Engineering at 3M Canada Compan


Using Genetic Algorithms to Optimize Energy Harvesting Relative to Budgets and Geolocation

Andrei Dumitrache and Alex Rodriguez-Perez

Salmon Arm Secondary, Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada

 A Novel Method for Predicting Photovoltaic Potential in Canada

Abel Diress, Bilal Shaikh, and Ria Patel

Merivale Secondary School, Nepean, Ontario, Canada

Investigating Existing Wind Turbine Fleet and Modeling Optimal geographic Locations for Future Wind Farms in Southern Ontario

Andrew kang, Liam Morrison, Henry Sun, and Andy Tang

Hillfield Strathallan College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Exploring the Efficiency of Clean Energy Allocation and Generation in Indian Regions

Amy Li and Eva Wu

Hillfield Strathallan College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Application of Multivariate Analysis in Identifying Factors Influencing Education Equity

Andrew Mao, Binder Nie, Nicholas Dong

Earl Haig Secondary School

Multivariate Analysis of United States Public Education Data to Optimize the Classroom Environment

Ammar Vora, Nishan Soni , Faiz Hanafi , and Vishwanath Wimalasena

Sir Winston Churchill High School
Robert Thirsk High School

The Role of Government Expenditure in Equitable Education

Jatin Mehta, Philip D’Costa, and Keval Patel

Erindale Secondary School

Investigating the Relationship between Poverty and Educational Success

Albert Choi, Jazli Muhammad, and Bobby Tang

Westmount Charter School

Educational Inequality Between Urban and Rural Areas

Joshua Lakdawala and Yash Jagirdar

Erindale Secondary School

A Study of How Money Invested in Secondary Students’ Education Impact the Quality of Education in the Math and Science Fields

Raymond Ma, Rachel Dietrich, Ruby Miller, and Tenzin Dhonyoe

Runnymede Collegiate Institute

A Correlative Analysis of Educator Identified Factors and Global Student Assessment Scores

Natalie Jarycki

Oakridge Secondary School

The Correlation Between Economic Status and Quality of Education

Isaac Bahler, Samantha Chong, Nanya Anyaduba, and Nier Kamel

Lindsay Thurber Composite High School

Examining the Effects of Government Funding and Staff Compensation on Public School Completion Rates

Allan Cao, Ziyan Li, Sarah Zuo

Westmount Charter School

The Impact of the Student Nutrition Program on Academic Achievement in Ontario

Cristian Bogdan, Harshith Duba, Nathan Pfeffer, and Nada Salem

Earl Haig Secondary School

An Investigation into the Socioeconomic Factors Correlated to PISA Reading Scores

Orchee Haque, Sophie Hoyer, Stephanie Huynh, Sraddha Uppili

Westmount Charter School