Fall Data Challenge: Fight Food Insecurity! 

This is Statistics announces its sixth annual Fall Data Challenge, a national contest for high school and undergraduate students to apply their statistical and data visualization skills to examine a relevant and timely topic, and demonstrate the real-world impact of data. 

This year’s theme, Fight Food Insecurity, will tackle the increasing challenge of food scarcity and insecurity in the United States. According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are “as many as 30 million adults and 12 million children living in a household where they may not always get enough to eat.” 

Students will work in teams to apply their statistical skills to analyze real-world food insecurity data and make recommendations to combat this critical issue.  

The contest is closed as of Nov. 7, at 11:59 PM EST. 

Teachers, get your class involved by visiting our educator resource page.  

How Does the Contest Work?  

Teams of two to five high school or undergraduate students can submit an entry. Each team must submit its presentation by 11:59 PM EST on November 7 to be eligible. Submissions will require a short essay describing the team’s process and presenting its analysis and recommendations via a PowerPoint presentation. A link to the submission form will be provided on the Fall Data Challenge web page starting on the official contest launch date, October 11. 

Teams with both high school and undergraduate students on the same team will be judged in the undergraduate category. Middle school students will be accepted, but will be judged in the high school category.    

Awards will be given in three categories: (1) Best Overall Analysis, (2) Best Visualization, and (3) Best Use of External Data.  

All teams must utilize the designated real-world dataset in their entry (details to come); although not required for general submission, to qualify for the Best Use of External Data category, teams must also utilize an additional dataset identified on their own.  

View the judging rubric (updated for 2021).

Prizes and Perks   

Winning teams will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, complimentary memberships to ASA, and a Fall Data Challenge winners t-shirt, along with bragging rights and a chance to apply statistical skills to an important real-world issue.    

Winners also will be promoted to ASA’s membership of leading statisticians and data scientists in academia, industry, business, government, and through ASA’s public education campaign, This is Statistics. Second and third place winners also will be recognized.   

Download the complete contest rules and requirements here.


All submissions must utilize the designated real-world dataset in their entry. 

Download the dataset.

Review the step-by-step instructions and support materials for the dataset.


Review the FAQs here.

If you still have questions, contact us at thisisstats@gmail.com.