R2D2, Wall-E, Transformers, Skynet, Halo. Most kids know about artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of gaming and movies. But it’s already present in other aspects of everyday life, including self-driving cars and semi-autonomous robots. Microsoft has even recently announced that it wants to eradicate cancer using AI.

Stichting NewTechKids is developing a new curriculum module for 10-12 year olds aimed at giving kids a basic understanding of artificial intelligence: what it is, how it works, how it’s being used in different industries, and the pros and cons of this technology. Our lessons will explore AI through computer science concepts such as machine learning, algorithms, programming, automation and robots. What is machine intelligence? Can we control it? Should we be afraid of it or can it be used for good?

The module’s lessons will incorporate ‘no tech’ games, pen and paper activities, and designing and programming with LEGO Mindstorms.

We’ll be testing the lessons during a five-day bootcamp during the Fall school vacation (October 17 – 21, 2016) at the Amsterdam Municipal Library. Stichting NewTechKids is partnering with the Library to establish it as a major centre for technology and maker education.

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