Booz Allen, Kaggle, and PBS team up to improve early childhood education

28 October 2019 2 min. read

Management and tech consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, data science community platform Kaggle, and PBS KIDS have partnered to deliver the fifth annual Data Science Bowl.

The fifth iteration of the Data Science Bowl, which is the largest data science competition focused on social good, will concentrate on building more effective educational media tools for children. The 90-day competition will award winning participants with a share of the $160,000 prize pot.

The previous four years of the competition have seen more than 50,000 participants submit over 114,000 AI algorithms, tackling issues such as lung cancer and heart disease detection, and ocean health monitoring.

This year’s participants will be provided with anonymous gameplay data from the PBS Kids Measure Up! app, and will be tasked with creating algorithms that use the information to determine what users know and are learning from the app experience. The competition partners hope the insights into how young children learn though media will lead to better-designed games and improved learning outcomes.

Booz Allen, Kaggle, and PBS team up to improve early childhood education

The first five years of a child’s life are when they develop linguistic, cognitive, social, emotional, and regulatory skills that can majorly determine their future life chances. Supporting education at an early age can be a key factor in long-term success factors such as higher educational attainment, employment, and earnings.

However, early education approaches and access vary across geography and social strata; this is where connected devices and freely provided educational media can potentially make an impact on the margins.

“Early childhood education is a pivotal point in a child’s development that can provide them with a profound advantage and set the foundation for lifelong success,” Dr. Josh Sullivan, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and leader of the firm’s analytics and AI business, said. “For the fifth annual Data Science Bowl, we’re excited to harness the collective power of people around the world to uncover how children learn and develop more beneficial and effective educational tools for children.”

Kaggle CEO Anthony Goldbloom added, “We’re excited to once again partner with Booz Allen to use the combined power of crowdsourcing and data science to affect change in an important field. This competition not only has the potential to impact the way we understand and approach learning but how we continue cultivating the data scientists of the future.”