UF is expanding its successful pilot program, which aims to equip Florida youth with essential skills needed in an emerging AI-enabled workforce, to 12 school districts.
In June, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering hosted the 46th annual Southeastern Conference for Minority Engineers (SECME) competition for middle and high school students from the Southeast region of the U.S. Participants from schools in Texas, Alabama, and Florida gathered on UF’s campus for SECME’s first in-person competition since 2019.
Florida is among the first states to adopt a K-12 artificial intelligence, or AI, education program designed to prepare its youth for the growing global demand for an AI-enabled workforce. The framework for the public school coursework was designed with help from UF faculty, including Christina Gardner-McCune, who modeled it after the Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Initiative, or AI4K12.
Nancy Ruzycki, Ph.D., instructional associate professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, is leading multiple K-12 engineering education initiatives to develop the teachers and the students to help fill prospective job openings in AI related fields.
As a veteran educator, inspiring, empowering and charting a pathway to success for students is something Nancy Ruzycki, Ph.D., instructional associate professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, has been doing for decades. Now, on the heels of her EQuIPD Grant success, Dr. Ruzycki is launching a middle school summer camp geared toward expanding the presence of underrepresented students in engineering and computer science.