At the end of 2020, I ran a survey amongst #IronQuest participants to find out what topics people would be interested in visualising this year. One of the topics that was mentioned a few times was History.

It just so happened that I had already planned an #IronQuest collaboration with the #Viz2Educate project team for February on that very topic!

I’m excited to share the details of the collaboration in this post.

What is #Viz2Educate?

#Viz2Educate is a relatively new community project hosted by Eve Thomas and Vinodh Kumar.

In their own words,

Viz2educate focuses on creating a high-quality bank of educational resources for teachers worldwide.

Teachers will have free access to dig into subject-related visualizations submitted as part of the project.

The goal of #Viz2Educate is to use social media and data visualisation to:

  • Create an online gallery of educational resources for teachers and students globally.
  • Create visualisations that do not only help teachers with access to unlimited resources but also instigate the next generation toward data visualization.
  • Our gallery will be a one-stop-shop for subjects like geography, history, science, etc. The visualisations will be based on a curated global syllabus post discussion with teachers from around the globe.

Books can be expensive and some schools simply can’t afford to keep a well-stocked library of books for their students. However, this is where the internet can help. Assuming the school has computers with internet access, they can tap into a wealth of information online which can be used to support the topics being taught in classes. The #Viz2Educate team intentionally choose specifics topic which form part of the global education syllabus so they can be used by teachers across the globe.

The #Viz2Educate team have run two successful rounds so far; the first focused on Geography and the second on Zoology. The project is already making an impact too. A month following the project launch, five teachers from three schools in India reached out to say that they had been using #Viz2Educate resources successfully in their classrooms to collectively support over 200 students!

I’m hopeful that this collaboration will further their project success and help to provide resources for even more students around the world.


History helps us to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their identity and the challenges of their time. When visualising history, there so are many different angles you can take with this topic!

When choosing a historical topic to visualise for this round, consider topics which may be covered in the teaching curriculum in your home country. The curriculum will differ between countries but will tend to focus on topics which fall into the following categories:

  • Traditions and Rituals
  • Places and Landmarks
  • People and Groups
  • Laws and Politics
  • Religious History
  • Major events, including wars. economic downturns and natural disasters
  • Movements, including revolutions and uprisings
  • Eras and Ages
  • Ancient History

For topic inspiration, there are some great resources on the History Channel website. There are also 127 ideas listed on this site, plus a few more here.

There are also two history-related celebrations recognised this month. For more information, please see below.

Black History Month

In case you weren’t aware, February is also recognised as Black History Month in the USA and Canada (Black History Month is celebrated in October in the UK).

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and is a time for recognising their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Each year, the president of the United States endorses a theme for the month. This year the theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity”, exploring the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

While this site is designed for school teachers, it includes links to some great resources you could utilise if you decide to visualise Black History this month.

LGBT+ History Month

February is also recognised as LGBT+ History month in the UK (LGBT+ stands for “(people who identify as) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, plus people with gender expressions outside traditional norms, including nonbinary, intersex, and other queer people (and those questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation), along with their allies”).

The overall aim of LGBT+ History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. According to the LGBT+ History month website, this is done by:

  • Increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT+”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community;
  • Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community;
  • Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT+ communities; and
  • Promoting the welfare of LGBT+ people, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole.

This years’ theme is ‘Mind, Body & Spirit’.

For more information, there are a wealth of resources on the official website here.

How do I enter?

The process is simple:

  • Source your data and build a viz that somehow touches upon the chosen theme for the month.
  • Upload your viz to Tableau Public or somewhere where it can be openly viewed online.
  • Fill in the submissions forms (embedded at the bottom of this post) so we can keep track of who is participating. This step is essential if you want feedback or would like to be credited in the wrap-up blog post. Note, #Viz2Educate have their own tracker which you’ll need to complete this month too. You can find it here.
  • If you opted in for feedback in step 3, the guest judges and I will provide some constructive feedback on your viz after the submission period closes.

Top Tips

  • You can use any data set which fits the theme (assuming you have permission to share it publicly).
  • Always remember to credit your data source/s on your viz.
  • Refrain from using any images or logos on your viz unless you have permission to do so.
  • Remember the Iron Viz judging criteria and try to focus on all three; Design, Storytelling and Analysis.
  • Think outside the box!

Who are my guest judges?

Since this month is a collaboration, I’ll be teaming up with the #Viz2Educate leaders this month; Eve Thomas and Vinodh Kumar!

Eve Thomas

Eve Thomas is a data visualization consultant with a background in teaching and HR. She is passionate about education and promoting equal opportunities. She loves creating visualizations that make data both fun and accessible to users of all ages. She is a Tableau Public Featured Author, 3 x VOTD winner and is an active community member.

Vinodh Kumar


Tableau Public

Vinodh Kumar is an NLP bot developer and data analyst. He is a Tableau Public Ambassador and a Tableau Public Featured Author. He is also a co-lead of various community initiatives like #TheSDGVizProject, #Mentoringmeetup and #VizConnect. He is a long-time active social worker and an avid supporter of the SDGs. He loves maps and spatial analysis and is always in search of hidden secrets in data that can help change the world.

When is the submission deadline?

The deadline for submissions is midnight PST on Sunday 28th February has been extended until midnight PST on Wednesday, 3rd March. Please use the submissions form below to submit your entry.

Feedback will be provided (to those who request it) via a conversation recorded and posted to YouTube between Eve, Vinodh and I, shortly after the deadline date. On the submissions form you can specify if you require feedback focused on the Iron Viz scoring criteria (design, storytelling and analysis) or more general data viz feedback.

Please note, if we receive a large number of feedback requests (more than we can cover in two hours), we’ll initially prioritise those from Tableau beginners or those entering #IronQuest for the first time. Any remaining feedback will be shared with the authors directly via email.

Continue the conversation and connect with other participants by following the #IronQuest hashtag on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing your entry!

Cover photo by Federico Di Dio photography on Unsplash

Submissions Form