AI for Kids (AI4K), which targets upper primary school children, is one of the initiatives AI Singapore has launched to develop the AI talent pipeline in Singapore.
Through blended learning and a hands-on workshop, AI4K fosters interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) and teach participants on the use of popular machine learning tools such as Scratch and Microsoft Azure’s Cognitive Services.
Four public workshops were recently conducted during the June school holidays. With support from Facebook and the National Library Board (NLB), 120 enthusiastic participants had a good and enriching time learning and creating basic AI solutions.
Session 1: June 9, 2019 (Tampines Regional Library)
Session 2: June 15, 2019 (library@harbourfront)
Session 3: June 22, 2019 (Jurong Regional Library)
Session 4: June 23, 2019 (library@harbourfront)
Additional session on July 13, 2019 (Wellington Primary School)
Highlights from the workshops
Quiz to test/revise with the children on what they have learnt online
Children learning how to create image datasets to train a machine learning model
for “Rock, Scissors, Paper” game
Facilitators guiding the children in the “Edge Detection” exercise
Another Quiz conducted at the end of the workshop to recap key learnings
Announcing our top 3 winners
Promote Intergenerational Learning
As a national programme to anchor and develop AI capabilities for Singapore,
AI Singapore seeks to provide an equal opportunity for all Singaporeans to have access to AI or learn about AI.
To coincide with the AI4K June workshops, we launched a “call for facilitators” where mid-career professionals and retirees were invited to apply and be trained as workshop facilitators. They will need to volunteer their time to assist the AI4K Lead Trainer conduct lessons to the children. They, in turn, will also get to acquire knowledge and understanding of AI.
The response from the public was overwhelming during the recruitment call and we finally selected 18 individuals as the pilot batch of AI4K workshop facilitators. This group was trained over 4 days on the AI4K curriculum, machine learning environment used and steps on how to conduct the workshops.
The pioneer batch of AI4K facilitators looking sharp and smart after surviving the 4 days training programme
“I realised the importance and relevance of AI and the need to get the younger generation be prepared for it. I am also reminded that I need to stay abreast with new technologies and to never stop learning.
Learning together with other facilitators of different professions exposed me to different views and ways of doing things.
One of my most memorable encounters during the workshops was seeing a mild autistic child coding and that impressed upon me that we cannot leave anyone behind in this AI journey.”
“The response from the kids were encouraging. My most memorable experience was having the opportunity to present in one of the workshops and based on the survey, my topics were voted most popular by the kids.
Overall, I enjoyed myself at these workshops. Everyone put in their best effort to make it a success.”
TAN Boon Yick
“It was an enriching experience for me as a facilitator at the AI4K workshops. I am now more aware about how AI is evolving and I hope that the kids who attended the boot camp are inspired to take the AI development to a new level.”
“AI4K has given me the opportunity to give back to the community. Guiding the kids to know more about AI is important as it will spark interest in them to continue it in the near future!”
Muhammad Shafie Roslan
“I am happy that the kids assigned to me seemed to enjoy the learning experience, in particular the interactive & hands-on activities.”
“Overall, the sessions were good and it was a positive experience for me. I hope I have played a small part in igniting the kids’ interests and built a small but right AI foundation in them.”
“Good learning and rewarding training experience for myself. And some networking too. Good fun seeing how these kids learnt and enjoyed the boot camps!”
“The programme also allowed facilitators to be involved in enhancing the materials, validating teaching approaches and adopting areas for improvement in order to enable an efficient delivery of the AI curriculum to the kids.
It was indeed a very memorable and honourable experience for me to be in the first batch of facilitators trained under AI Singapore. Apart from acquiring new knowledge about AI, we were also given an opportunity to experience what it’s like being a coach. We also get to expand our circle of friends while building up the AI ecosystem. “
CHONG Li Fern
“I have benefitted so much from the training and facilitation sessions – more than what I had thought. In just a few weeks, I learnt about classroom management, AI tools and concepts and also had the opportunity to visit the sponsor’s office at Facebook.
The pioneer group of facilitators were amazing. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds, everyone had the heart to contribute and share his/her knowledge… “
“I picked up basic knowledge about machine learning but most importantly, the kids had fun while learning during the boot camp. I hope this programme can continue to be rolled out to all primary schools so that more kids can benefit from it.”
“It was a privilege to be part of the pioneer batch of AI4K trainers. The training for trainers was structured and comprehensive and course mates were great company and the admin and logistics thoughtfully organised. The learning about AI, machine learning and deep learning was grounded in the fundamentals and well-paced. All these prepped us to deliver the AI4K programme for upper primary students, who rewarded us with their enthusiasm. A meaningful and satisfying volunteer project!”
“I am heartened to see the intergenerational learning and engagement between our facilitators and children through the AI4K programme. It is also very encouraging to see our facilitators, many of whom had no prior experience or knowledge about AI being able to learn AI in such a short time-frame, impart their skills to the young ones and partnering with us in this endeavour to build up young AI talents for tomorrow. Indeed we seek to get everyone on board to join us on this AI journey…this is just the beginning.” said Laurence Liew, Director of AI Industry Innovation, AI Singapore