The Expanding Your Horizons(EYH) Conference is held every year at Middle Tennessee State University and is attended by girls from middle and high school with a focus on encouraging them to get into STEM fields. At EYH 2019, I led a workshop titled “Introduction to Machine Learning with Scratch”. Using the Machine Learning for Kids platform by Dale Lane and inspired by Randi Williams’s article ‘How to Teach AI to Kids…In 30 Minutes’ , I designed the workshop to introduce participants to the concept of Machine Learning(ML), help them realise that they already interact daily with devices or platforms powered by ML (e.g. Amazon’s Alexa, Youtube suggestions, Spotify mixtapes) and finally allow them to create their own machine learning models and use them in fun Scratch projects!
EYH provided me with the opportunity to continue to work with children to understand better machine learning leveraging a platform environment that they are used to (Scratch).
The workshop was attended by 22 Middle School girls. The girls worked in groups of two and we tried to pair those who had some prior knowledge of Scratch with those who were encountering Scratch for the first time.
Following a project-based approach, the workshop agenda started with introductions (including everyone giving their names), then an introduction to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, time working on projects and sharing, reflections on what was learnt and presenting options for continuing with Scratch & ML after the session.
Pictures from the session are shown below.
Letter from Conference Organisers after EYH.
All images and video used with permission.