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Teaching Artificial Intelligence in K-12

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  • UserDave Touretzky (Carnegie Mellon University, AI4K12 Initiative) and Fred Martin (University of Massachusetts Lowell, AI4K12 Initiative)
  • ClockTuesday 11 January 2022, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseVenue to be confirmed.

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What should K-12 students know about artificial intelligence, and what should they be able to do with it? The AI4K12 Initiative ( is a joint project of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), with funding from the US National Science Foundation. AI4K21 .org is developing national guidelines for teaching AI in K-12. Our work began with the release of a list of “Five Big Ideas in AI”, described in a poster that is now available in 15 languages. The guidelines themselves are organized as a series of progression charts, one for each big idea, covering four grade bands: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

In this talk, we describe some of the key insights into AI that we hope children will acquire, and how we see K-12 AI education evolving over the next few years.


David S. Touretzky is a Research Professor in the Computer Science Department and the Neuroscience Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the founder and chair of the AI4K12 Initiative ( Dr. Touretzky’s 40 year research career spans work in knowledge representation, artificial neural networks, computational neuroscience, autonomous mobile robots, and computer science education. He is a Senior Member of Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery.

Dr. Fred Martin is professor of Computer Science and associate dean for Teaching, Learning, and Undergraduate Studies for the Kennedy College of Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Martin’s research group, the Engaging Computing Group, develops and studies novel computational design environments for learners, empowering them to create meaningful, personally satisfying projects. Martin is presently co-leading an NSF -funded researcher-practitioner partnership, “CS Pathways RPP : A District Ownership-based Approach to Middle School Computer Science” with SUNY Albany and three urban school districts (two in Massachusetts, and one in New York State). Martin is a past chair of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), served on Massachusetts’ Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards Panel, and was a founding member of the AI4K12 Initiative’s steering committee.

This talk is part of the Computing Education Research series.

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