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Teaching with PURR Data: Attention Getters

Freely available datasets in the Purdue University Research Repository (PURR) that lend themselves to classroom use.

Datasets Sure to Get Students' Attention

Students may struggle to grasp abstract definitions of data related terms, but concrete examples help them connect with the material. These examples should be instantly accessible and interesting to students from any discipline, regardless of their familiarity with data.

Data in the news

See how this dataset on the impact of race on police behavior informs the analysis in this article from The Washington Post (Menifield 2018). doi:10.4231/R70G3HCR

Social media data

This visualization of a social media network demonstrates how data can help us see familiar concepts in a whole new way (Gleich 2006). doi:10.4231/D39P2W550


This video data below of trucks hitting a bridge overpass is sure to get everyone's attention (Connor 2014). doi:10.4231/R7PC308C

Need more data?

The datasets listed here are not exhaustive, but provide examples of the various data formats represented in PURR's collection. To find more datasets like these, visit

Pro tip: start entering your search term into the "Enter tags" field, and PURR will suggest tags to choose from.