Thousands of high school students across Florida will embark on artificial intelligence coursework this coming school year, strengthening efforts by Florida public school officials and the University of Florida to equip the state’s youth with the essential skills required for an AI-enabled workforce.
The UF-designed AI education program was piloted last year in three Florida public school districts with successful results, leading to the program’s expansion to 12 districts beginning this month. Nancy Ruzycki, an instructional and associate professor at UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, is one of the architects of the three-year coursework called AI Foundations, which is delivered through the state’s Career and Technical Education, or CTE, programs.
“We’ve been building out this supportive pipeline for AI and data science in the state of Florida with the ultimate goal of infusing AI throughout the state’s public school curriculum, from kindergarten through 12th grade,” Ruzycki said.
The curriculum framework consists of four courses: Artificial Intelligence in the World, Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Procedural Programming, and Foundations of Machine Learning. The complexity increases with each course, Ruzycki said.
The first course, Artificial Intelligence in the World, helps students identify AI around them and how it works. In the second course, students begin to look at how AI is used in different fields to solve problems and can create their own AI systems to address issues they’re passionate about. The next two courses dive deeper into the content, teaching the students how to build some of the AI applications they have become familiar with and to use those skills to get an entry-level job or continue their education.
Source : UFL