YCCS Youth Take Ownership of Data Quality

Youth Take Ownership of Data Quality


High quality data is essential to successful YCCS. Youth ownership of data quality is the practice of giving young people responsibility for high quality CCS data collection and analysis. As young people gain expertise through practice, they can then be positioned to regulate data collection and analyses for themselves and their peers. We found that creating opportunities for students to be responsible for data collection and analysis helped them understand data and the role of data in scientific endeavors, and develop a sense of ownership around their work in YCCS.


1. Engage youth in the question “Are these data good enough for somebody to use?”

Before and after data are collected, discuss what constitutes “good data” based on how other people will use the data. Give opportunities for youth to help determine what good data look like.

2. Develop a culture of questioning data.

Create routines or roles in which youth question one another (and adults!) and ask for evidence to back up claims.

3. Break up a complex protocol into smaller tasks and roles for which youth can take responsibility.

Youth can try out multiple roles, building expertise over time and noticing how data quality relates to other work being done.

4. Encourage improvised practices.

Youth participants may come up with their own data collection strategies or ways to analyze data that do not compromise the scientific protocols. Look for these and, where possible, adopt them across the group. Doing so shows youth that they can have influence and bring their unique perspectives to science.

Case Studies

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