Is it possible to send SQL queries to an external database from inside a Jupyter Notebook (in the context of teaching a course in database/data science), and return query results?
I think that should be possible. You can set up permissions/firewalls for this SQL server to only accept connections from the server running your Jupyter Notebook.
Thanks! Do you think that would apply to the EdX.org platform?
Do you mean the edx.org site itself or another instance of Open edX (edx-platform etc)? In the former case I don’t know, I am not aware of how it is configured. It will need some configuration beyond my understanding to securely set up a connection there.
For your own instance AWS etc it should be a lot more straightforward to set up. Without more knowledge of that setup it’s hard to advise.