$1.7M grant to pilot AI student education for rural Indiana middle schoolers

From left to right: Krista Glazewski, Professor, Instructional Systems Technology Department Chair; Kyungbin Kwon, Associate Professor; Anne Leftwich, Associate Professor, Barbara B. Jacobs Chair in Education and Technology

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, and Indiana University were awarded $1.7 million to collaborate on artificial intelligence programming for rural middle school students. The Office of the Secretary of Defense funded the AI pilot program, which will begin this summer.

NSWC Crane is teaming up with two IU schools: the School of Education and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, both at IU Bloomington. NSWC Crane and IU received the National Defense Education Program Award to pilot the program, titled AI Goes Rural: Middle School Artificial Intelligence Education, to Indiana middle schools.

The AI Goes Rural team members from the School of Education include Kyungbin Kwon, Anne Leftwich and Krista Glazewski.

Kwon, an Associate Professor at the IU School of Education, says learning AI is very important for children’s education and career.

“AI will transform our educational systems and learning gaps between students who utilize AI and those who do not will increase,” says Kwon. “Our ‘AI Goes Rural’ program will develop AI curricula in collaboration with teachers, which will support our teachers and provide students with better learning opportunities. We envision that our program will broaden participation in CS to rural students and suggest teaching models for AI education.”

Glazewski, Professor and Chair of Instructional Systems Technology, said on addressing economic equity: “We recognize the importance of exposure to advanced technologies for kids of all ages who represent a wide range of contexts, and we see this as an opportunity kids to consider the impacts and potential opportunities of AI technologies in their lives. There is a well-documented opportunity gap in STEM that we will bridge with project. At the same time, we will work directly with kids and their teachers to consider AI technologies, ethics, and the role of AI in their current and future lives.”

Leftwich, Associate Professor, Instructional Systems Technology and Adjunct Associate Professor, Computer Science, said, “Our current students will become the workers, creators, policymakers, and innovators of the future. By time these middle schoolers are in the workforce, Artificial Intelligence will likely be integrated into every crevasse of society and jobs. For example, law about who has access to our personal data, who is held responsible for AI like self-driving cars, what are the unintended consequences of using AI … Preparing these future innovators and citizens requires a reframing of education that deeply considers how to prepare them for their futures with AI.”

Read the full story at News at IU.