New Climate and Information Realities: From Oceans to Glass of Water

Analyze municipal, federal, global, and humanitarian open data surrounding the impacts of climate change on water resources to uncover new trends of relevance to our local and global communities

Your investigation will aid the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in successfully reaching their 2030 Agenda by addressing multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Clean Water and Sanitation, Climate Action, and Life Below Water.

Under Patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

The Process

This year’s competition focuses on data analysis relating to impacts of global and micro-climate change in water and oceans for communities, energy generation, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and more.

  • Delve into water, oceans, and climate change problematics through the prism of the Rabbit Hole of Knowledge

  • Explore the UNESCO_SDGs and their interconnection with water and ocean quality

  • Analyze municipal, provincial, federal, global, and humanitarian open data surrounding water and climate to guide your investigation on how these changes impact our everyday life.

  • Discover patterns using data analytic tools, formulate ideas, and develop models

  • Propose sustainable solutions for your chosen local, regional, and global environmental problems from an environmental or socioeconomic perspective
    sustainable solutions for your chosen local, regional, and global environmental problems from an environmental or socioeconomic perspective
  • Present your research findings in the form of a scientific paper







High-School Big Data Challenge Participants

Media Coverage


Students share climate saving ideas

They’re the future, and they could help save our planet. Audra Brown with the inspiring students working to save the climate.


CCUNESCO Scholarly Communication Award, in memoriam of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari

Westmount Charter School: Tony Hu, William Zhou, Andrew Li, Dhananjay Patki

Let’s Talk Science and Innovate Calgary Analytics Talent Award

Strathcona Tweedsmuir School: Bishneet Singh, Lindy Zhai, Brennan Cowley Adam

Innovate Calgary Sustainability Award

Sir Winston Churchill High School: Shrinjay Mukherjee, Sunny Zuo, Max Zhong

RBC Arnold Chan Memorial Award for Student Innovation

Westmount Charter School and Western Canada High School: Allan Cao, Duomi Ding, Alexander Greco


CCUNESCO Scholarly Communication Award, in memoriam of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari

Erindale Secondary School: Joshua Lakdawala, Yash Jagirdar

Let’s Talk Science and Innovate Calgary Analytics Talent Award

Strathcona Tweedsmuir School: Bishneet Singh, Lindy Zhai, Brennan Cowley Adam

RBC Arnold Chan Memorial Award for Student Innovation

University of Toronto Schools: Ryan Alizadeh, Siddarth Dagar, William Szeto, Jerry Wang

Award Descriptions

RBC Arnold Chan Memorial Award for Student Innovation

This award recognizes a team that has proposed an idea/solution that demonstrates creativity and/or innovative thinking, has potential for future social applications and/or meets an unsolved need.

CCUNESCO Scholarly Communication Award, in memoriam of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi­Lari

This award is in memoriam of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi­Lari and recognizes the team that has demonstrated excellent scholarly communication skills.

Let’s Talk Science and Innovate Calgary Analytics Talent Award

This award recognizes a team that has demonstrated the use of advanced data analytics techniques throughout their projects.

Innovate Calgary Sustainability Award

This award recognizes a team that has proposed an idea/solution that will make positive contributions towards the sustainable future, both locally and/or abroad.

2020 Finalists

Calgary Finalists

  • Lindy Zhai, Brennan Cowley Adam, Bishneet Singh
  • Shrinjay Mukherjee, Sunny Zuo, Max Zhong, Abhigyan Garg
  • Duomi Ding, Allan Cao, Alexander Greco
  • Ananya Trivedi, Amy Lai, Keanu Liwongan, Yumi Peng
  • William Zhou, Tony Hu, Dhananjay Patki, Andrew Li
  • David Zhang, Amos You
  • Anya Pederson, Susan Fountain, Harsh Kumar Patel
  • Vishwanath Wimalasena, Faiz Hanafi, Ammar Vora, Nishan Soni
  • Brian Hsiao, Olivia Chen, Kelly Hu
  • Priscilla Chirom, Amisha Gill

Toronto Finalists

  • Eric Chen, Justin Pang, Leo Tao, Joshua Scripcaru
  • Arya Shababi, Robin Nash, Maria Pasyechnyk, Ali Seena Shakeri
  • Alex Zhuang, Baker Jackson, Jason Xiong, Nathan Kim
  • Ryan Alizadeh, Siddarth Dagar, William Szeto
  • Narasimha Kalimipalli, John Zhang, Karan Manku
  • Louis Sun, Andrew Chen
  • Lukas Bolsinger, Simon John
  • David Tang, Jacky He, Bill Hu, William Li
  • Joshua Lakdawala, Yash Jagirdar
  • Darian Ellis, Vikram Arora, Andrew Kang

2019-2020 Reviews & Speakers

Calgary Guests

Rebecca Schulz

Rebecca Schulz was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Calgary-Shaw, in April 2019, and was chosen to serve in Premier Jason Kenney’s cabinet as the Minister of Children’s Services shortly thereafter. In that portfolio, she manages files from daycare to child intervention, a job she was well prepared for by many years working in the government of Saskatchewan, as well as a recent role in development with the University of Calgary. Minister Schulz holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of arts from the University of Saskatchewan, and is raising two children with her husband in south Calgary.

Minister Sawhney

Minister Sawhney was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Calgary-North East. Born and raised in north east Calgary, Sawhney is a mother of four, an activist, and an engaged community volunteer. Rajan attended the University of Calgary, earning a degree in Economics and Political Science as well as an MBA. Sawhney worked in the oil and gas industry for over twenty years in a variety of different roles in economics and business development. Prior to her election, she served as the Vice President of Business Development for Fracture Modeling Inc.As an active volunteer, Sawhney is passionate about community engagement initiatives. She has played a key role in leadership with several non-profit organizations and has also spearheaded several programs and events designed to spread awareness and raise funds for worthy causes. For her community engagement work, Rajan was recognized as a Community Builder by the YWCA for Canada 150.Rajan Sawhney was appointed as Alberta’s Minister of Community and Social Services on April 30, 2019.

Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell began her tenure as the Queen’s representative in Alberta in June 2015. She is an accomplished businesswoman and entrepreneur, a dedicated community volunteer, and an ardent advocate for lifelong learning. Her Honour began her career as a teacher. A passion for sport in general, and for team sports in particular, led her to studies in Physical Education at the University of British Columbia and a position teaching Grade 6 Phys Ed and English. One of her focuses as Lieutenant Governor has been to foster education in the areas of history, physical literacy and agriculture. Her work in agricultural education includes the GROWS virtual classroom, which encourages youth from rural and urban communities to work together on innovative approaches to caring for the land, water and air that we all share.

Bill Rosehart

Bill Rosehart is the dean of the Schulich School of Engineering and has recently been inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering for his commitment to innovation in teaching and learning. Under Rosehart’s leadership, the school has launched new programs and opened the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex. The Schulich School of Engineering’s strategic vision Energizing Engineering Leadership is to support student success, foster diversity in engineering and to promote research that makes a difference

Byron Chu

Byron has a PhD in biochemistry, and is a certified project manager. In his current role, as well as project managing, he also works with data, and delivers technology training to Albertans (and Canadians) of all ages. His proudest achievement at Cybera (so far) has been working with Callysto, and introducing new technologies and problem-solving approaches to Grades 5-12 teachers and students. If he’s not at his desk, you will find him running or spending time with his family.

Toronto Guests

Peter Singh, panelist

Peter is a proud father of three kids who firmly believes in the mantra of family first. As a parent who has been actively engaged in his kid’s education as they have gone through GTA schools, colleges and universities, he has a very rich and positive perspective on the strong expectations that parents place on the education of their children. He brings 27+ years of K-12 sector experience to his Information Technology portfolio, Peter has been described as both a practical minded and visionary leader. On the one hand, he has his feet firmly planted on the ground and is pragmatic and realistic in his approach; on the other hand, he also has a clear, exciting and meaningful vision for the future of TDSB IT Services. Besides being an avid reader, he is a very fitness conscious individual who plays volleyball on a weekly basis, enjoys golf over the summer months, and passionately follows the game of cricket around the world.

Dan Gieruszak, panelist

Dan Gieruszak is a second term Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Brockton, which encompasses the town of Walkerton. He is the Chair of the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, Chair of the Saugeen Municipal Airport, Chair of the Brockton Economic Development Committee, President of LEAD Canada and trustee of LEAD International.

LEAD’s mission is to inspire leadership and change for a sustainable world. LEAD believes that where the leadership potential of people and communities is developed, through collaborate across sectors and cultures, innovative solutions to local and global challenges can be found.

LEAD Believes in the 21st Century Premise that improved quality of life and sustainability of the planet are dependent on clean, safe, affordable energy. This requires leaders, driven by evidence-based decision making, supported by trained and knowledgeable communities, mobilizing people and organizations to transition from 19th and 20th century energy to 21st century clean, safe, affordable energy.

Patti Edwards, panelist

Patti is the Manager of Climate Research Data Products with Environment and Climate Change Canada. Patti leads the development and provision of foundational climate science information in support of climate services for Canadians. This data includes projections of future climate change and historic climate data products.

Patti has a background in climate change science assessment and operational weather monitoring. She is familiar with the challenges of observational monitoring, the collection and transmission of data, particularly in the Canadian High Arctic.

Nikki Sigurdson, panelist

Nikki Sigurdson is an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, studying mathematics and computer science. During her undergraduate career, she worked in the area of computer science education, and led a research project investigating the role of mathematics in the university computer science curriculum through both qualitative and quantitative methods.