Educational content ideas/data sets

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For other ideas, see Educational content ideas

Interesting Data Sets

I know of Internet resources that present interesting data sets. But I don't undestand copyright laws enough to know if these sets can be incorporated into the OLPC project, so I'll just give examples of what I mean:

Positions of Stars in the sky
Contours of continents (GIS data)
Chemical Elements Tables
Data sets collected by Gleducar
Data sets collected by Edusig (Python in Education)
The value of PI to a millon places
Table of Prime factors
Common Names of People
Spanish last names
Solar System Planet statistics
Geopolitical Statistics
UNICEF Maps concerning children (spanish)
Dinosaurs Data files (not open)
Nutritional Content of Different types of food
Roller Coaster Stats (to study energy conversion)
Species Evolution Trees
Species Statistics
estimated numbers of individuals, geographic location
The Powers of 10 tutorial
Natural Disasters Statistics
Type, How many people affected, Affected regions, Dates (is "disaster" the right word?)
Properties of Elements and Natural Substances
Most often used words in a language
Words that rhyme
Collections of words with ortographic or phonetic properties
technology advances, evolution, life forms, creation of continents, planetary formation, human evolution, philosophycal movements. Like: the Histomap of World History, Compact timeline of global history
Heights of Skyscrapers (might be insulting to poor countries)

(Or localized alternatives)

  • connectives (prepositions, pronouns, and the like)
  • web2- Webster's Second International English wordlist
  • web2a- Webster's Second Internations appendix english wordlist
  • propernames- some common proper names
  • airport- list of three letter codes for some major airports
  • birthtoken- traditional stone and flower for each month
  • international country telephone codes
  • cities.dat- geographic coordinates of many major cities
  • postal codes for US and Mexican states and
  • languages- two-letter codes for languages, from ISO 639
  • currency- currency abbreviations and names
  • countries- country abbreviations and names and capital cities
  • jargon.html- The Jargon file (same as the _Hacker's_Dictionary_)
  • us-constitution- The Constitution of the United States of America
  • us-declaration- The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
Project Gutenberg Data

Other Data Sets available

Many environmental agencies and monitoring groups are putting their data online. This could be particularly important for students in developing nations, where poverty is often coupled with environmental problems. Older students can use this data to learn about the environment and even write their own scientific papers. One example of this kind of database can be found here:, although there are many others. Their numbers continue to grow, especially since NSF encourages data sharing:

Collaborative Projects to Join

Science and Math Projects from CIESE

Collaborative and real time data projects for K-12 science and math education. Includes the following projects for Spring and Fall:

  • Down the Drain: How Much Water Do You Use?
  • The International Boiling Point Project
  • Human Genetics: A Worldwide Search for the Dominant Trait
  • The Global Water Sampling Project
  • The Global Sun/Temperature Project
  • Square of Life: Studies in Local and Global Environments
  • Bucket Buddies
  • Take a Dip
  • Mission to Eros: Rendezvous with an Asteroid
  • Noonday Project: Measuring the Circumference of the Earth


Central Intelligence Agency

The World Fact Book 2002. Collect and analyze data about different counteries.

U.S. Census Bureau

Excel files throughout the site depending on the topic you are looking for.

Federal Reserve, Economic Data

The gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal agencies

Datasets Archive:

From the Carnegie Mellon University Statistics Department. Datasets from articles and books, and other sets submitted by readers.