(This is a day by day of the Data: Lets do the Numbers Unit in CS Principles. The overview is here.)
Today we started working with some real data sets. I want them to have some experience with a smaller data set before we start the portfolio assessment, which has them work with a data set of at least 5000 pieces of data. We're using one available from Houghton Mifflin about Crime stats. The site has several good smaller data sets that are good for practice.
Today I let them download it as a spreadsheet. I am having them start with Excel, then we'll try some queries on the same data using Access next class.
At this point I am not imposing questions for them to answer, I want them to try to form the questions and explore on their own. This is a bit experimental, and we may need to loop back and have them do specific queries. It will depend on how far they are able to get on their own. I think this aspect will vary year to year depending on the strengths and motivational level of your students.
Here is the listing of what we did: