Data Fair Showcases How Students Are Using Math to Address Social Justice Issues
On Thursday, June 1, Manhattan Country School hosted its seventh annual Social Justice Data Fair. The event, which features student work and a keynote address, highlights the role of math in exploring and addressing social justice issues.
For the eighth-graders, the data fair is a capstone project. Students research an issue of their choosing and hone their visual storytelling skills, preparing a compelling collection of graphs, info-graphics and maps to draw attention to the key concerns they want to raise awareness about for their issue. This year’s topics included:
- Intersectionality in the gender pay gap
- Asthma rates and environmental racism
- Endangered species
- Mass incarceration in the United States
- Gun control
- Sexual harassment
- Factory farming
- Public education
- Access to healthy food
Seventh-graders served as docents for the event, touring our youngest visitors around the fair. Their work from our percent change unit was also on display, through which they investigated changes in the number of black congresswomen, the average coming out age of LGBTQ people, global temperature, black female physicists, deportations, racial demographics of professional athletes, teen pregnancy and more
Sixth-grade work featured at the fair illustrated what they have learned about the disproportionate representations returned by web searches. Image search terms they've investigated included mathematician, nurse, people, police officer, doctor, banker, Muslim, Harlem, lawyer, Asian, Hispanic, parent, transgender, student, homosexual, scientist, athlete, military, Jewish, pilot, senior citizen and teacher. Fifth-graders' work showcased how they visualized their class' water usage.
Attorney Praveen Fernandes gave the keynote address at our annual Social Justice Data Fair. He spoke about why LGBT data should be included in the Census. You can read his position on this issue in his recent New York Times op-ed piece.