AI4GA – Developing Artificial Intelligence Competencies, Career Awareness, and Interest in Georgia Middle School Teachers and Students

Principal Investigator: Christina Gardner-McCune

Sponsor: NSF

Start Date: May 1, 2021

End Date: April 30, 2024

Amount: $444,243


As Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies begin to reshape modern society, educating younger students about AI has become a national priority for both the United States and its competitors. In these early days of K-12 AI education, little is known about how diverse student populations relate to AI and which instructional strategies are most likely to engage them. Since most K-12 teachers are not yet familiar with AI, research is also needed on how to develop their AI fluency and confidence. This project, a collaboration between researchers in AI and education and the Georgia Department of Education, will investigate these questions by developing and testing a nine-week elective course for Georgia middle school students called Living and Working with Artificial Intelligence, and an accompanying online teacher professional development course. The student course will offer a mixture of activities including hands-on demonstrations, guided experimentation, online research, project-based learning, and exploration of AI-enabled careers. Teachers will also have the option of including computer programming activities. To ensure that the curriculum is adaptable to the needs of different populations and cultures, researchers will partner with school districts serving three ethnically and geographically diverse populations in Georgia: rural, suburban, and urban areas, and with large populations of white, Latinx, or Black students respectively. 

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