This summer, Virtual High School will launch a brand new Data Science course!

What is data science?

Data Science is a growing field, but one that has had only limited exposure at the high school level. VHS wants to help change that. Throughout this course, students will gain practical experience with data science tools and concepts such as basic statistics, data analysis, data models, and data visualization. This interdisciplinary course combines components of Computer Science (ICS4U), Mathematics of Data Management (MDM4U), and International Business (BBB4M) to provide students with the three skill sets of a Data Scientist. Think of this exciting new course as you would a triathlon – triathletes must be skilled in all three areas to be successful! Today, the workforce tends to be strong in computer science, data management, or business, but seldom in all three. Although employers are looking for students with data science skills, this is an area that students are often not aware of nor taught about until those students are in post-secondary courses or beyond. The goal of the data science course is to bridge these three disciplines and to create a program that requires the use of all of these sets of knowledge in the completion of real-life case studies.

Additionally, this course uses IBM’s Data Scientist Workbench and R programming language to perform analysis, visualization, and testing on data. Many big companies like IBM, Facebook, Bing, Ford, Uber, The New York Times, John Deere, and more use R. Imagine the possibilities for a high school student who is experienced in R programming! Learn more about R here.

How is it taught?

This data science course is built around case studies which students work with in order to solve real world business problems using data. These case studies include:

  • Human resources: Who is the best candidate for the job?
  • Insurance, health, churn rate: How can an insurance company keep a healthier clientele?
  • Online e-commerce: What does it take to start an online store?
  • International Trade: What is Canada’s fastest growing trade relationship?

Who is eligible to take this course?

As an interdisciplinary grade 12 university level course, IDC4U, Data Science can be used in post-secondary applications. Students who have completed any grade 11 university or college/university level course will meet the prerequisite and are eligible to enroll in this course. Those interested in STEM and business may have a particular interest in this course.

Stay tuned for the official launch date!