Posted Date: 03/31/2021
Mrs. Mary Mericle's third grade class is being introduced to concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, machine learning, training data and bias. Using Amazon's Code.org, students engaged in an ocean themed activity in which they trained AI to identify between fish or trash.
Students realized through this process that a human influences how and what a machine learns and therefore how it performs tasks at hand. After teaching the machine characteristics to look for, they tested it to see the procedure of AI deciphering trash from marine life while discarding it or how it determined a certain type of fish versus other ones. This gave them an idea of how AI and machine learning can be used to address world problems such as marine pollution.
Each student used their chromebook while following along with student teacher, Mrs. Gina Lowe, using the class television. These new devices were added in each classroom and attained through SPARK funds. This has increased the ability for West Elk students to access computer science as part of their core K-12 education. The next class project is to code their own dance party. Sixth graders recently finished doing the same task with Mrs. Heather Kelly in the library.
Computer science is important in today's technology-focused society. Job perspective for computer science is growing rapidly, creating a higher demand for computer science graduates. It is a crucial tool to not only make changes in the world, but also a way to pull students of low-income families and communities out of poverty. Whether or not West Elk students decide to follow that field of study, they will develop skills learning computer science that are useful in any career.