Booz Allen, Kaggle and PBS KIDS Partner to Leverage Data Science Tools in Media for Early Childhood Education Insight

Fifth Annual Data Science Bowl Will Analyze Digital Game Play to Help Build More Effective Educational Media Tools for Children

MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Over the last four years, more than 50,000 participants have developed and submitted over 114,000 artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to improve everything from detection of lung cancer and heart disease, to monitoring ocean health and helping accelerate life-saving medical research as part of the annual Data Science Bowl®.

In partnership with PBS KIDS, this year’s competition will look at advancements in early childhood education. The results will lead to better designed games and improved learning outcomes, empowering children, parents, caregivers and educators across the globe with insights into how young children learn through media and which approaches work best to help them build on foundational learning skills. The 90-day Data Science Bowl competition will award winning participants with a share of $160,000 in cash prizes.

Research shows much of the most critical brain development in children takes place before they even reach kindergarten. Child development experts indicate it is during these first five years that children develop linguistic, cognitive, social, emotional, and regulatory skills that predict their later functioning in many domains. Yet early education approaches around the world vary in quality, accessibility, technique and engagement, leading to disparities in children’s learning and development. Further, access to effective early learning resources is critical, as research demonstrates that high-quality educational media can help support young learners. To better understand these challenges and develop the most effective approaches to high-quality early educational media, Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) and Kaggle today launched the fifth annual Data Science Bowl®, the world’s largest data science competition focused on social good.

“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,” said Dr. Josh Sullivan, senior vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton and leader of the firm’s analytics and AI business. “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.”

The 2019 Data Science Bowl At-A-Glance:

  • Why does this challenge matter? The first five years of a child’s life are critical to their development as it’s when they learn and cultivate linguistic, cognitive, social, emotional and regulatory skills that predict their later functioning in many domains. Access to high-quality, effective early learning resources is critical during the early childhood developmental period and supporting education at an early age is also key for other long-term success factors such as increased qualifications, employment, and earnings.
  • What will participants do? Participants will be provided with anonymous gameplay data from the PBS KIDS Measure Up! app, which was developed as a part of the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. They will be tasked with creating algorithms that utilize information about how players use the app to determine what they know and are learning from the experience, in order to discover important relationships between their engagement with educational media and learning. The insights gleaned from these solutions will help PBS KIDS and other organizations create new solutions, content and products that help ensure each and every user has the best chance to learn important skills, helping improve childhood learning access and achievement.
  • Privacy and data security. PBS KIDS is committed to creating a safe and secure environment that family members of all ages can enjoy. The PBS KIDS Measure Up! app does not collect any personally identifying information, such as name or location. All of the data used in the competition is anonymous. The Data Science Bowl and the use of data for this year’s competition has been reviewed to ensure that it meets requirements of applicable child privacy regulations by PRIVO. PRIVO is a leading global industry expert in children’s online privacy and delegated consent management.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this year’s Data Science Bowl, which will harness the power of technology to help drive the future of learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “PBS KIDS has long been an innovator in the educational media space, and through this year’s competition we look forward to gaining new insights into how to build games that help children thrive in school and life.”

“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,” said Anthony Goldbloom, CEO of Kaggle. “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.”

To participate in the competition, please register and download the data set here. To learn more about the Data Science Bowl, including more information about past Data Science Bowl competitions, visit

For more information about past Data Science Bowl competitions, visit

About Booz Allen Hamilton

For more than 100 years, military, government, and business leaders have turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to solve their most complex problems. As a consulting firm with experts in analytics, digital, engineering, and cyber, we help organizations transform. We are a key partner on some of the most innovative programs for governments worldwide and trusted by their most sensitive agencies. We work shoulder to shoulder with clients, using a mission-first approach to choose the right strategy and technology to help them realize their vision. With global headquarters in McLean, Virginia and more than 80 offices worldwide, our firm employs more than 26,300 people and had revenue of $6.7 billion for the 12 months ending March 31, 2019. To learn more, visit (NYSE: BAH)

About Kaggle

Kaggle is the world’s largest community of data scientists. Join us to compete, collaborate, learn, and do your data science work. Kaggle’s platform is the fastest way to get started on a new data science project. Spin up a Jupyter notebook with a single click. Build with our huge repository of free code and data. Stumped? Ask the friendly Kaggle community for help. Follow us on twitter for helpful resources and interesting competitions.


PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers children ages 2-8 the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital media and community-based programs. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn, including their teachers, parents and community. Provided by stations, the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream is available to more than 95% of U.S. TV households. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning, including the PBS KIDS Video app, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung TV and Chromecast. PBS KIDS also offers parent and teacher resources to support children’s learning anytime and anywhere. For more information on PBS KIDS content and initiatives supporting school readiness and more, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates.

About The Ready To Learn Initiative

The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) Office of Innovation and Improvement. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach and research on educational effectiveness.



Media Relations – Joseph Campbell, 703-377-4422

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