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Why is artificial intelligence a great topic for children and young teens?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an incredibly engaging topic for today's children and young teens!  They are immersed in a world of ever-increasing intelligent machines and technology and they’re fascinated by them!  Mystifyingly “smart” machines appeal to learners' sense of wonder.  How do machines provide games, look up information, give directions, connect students to other people around the world, and act so much like humans?  Will robots or machines really take over the world as predicted in science fiction books and movies?  Have we reached the limit of machine intelligence, or are we on the cusp of new developments that will make machines as intelligent as humans?  

AI is a great transition to or from robotics, and students interested in robotics will find this unit accessible and engaging.  Robotics has proven to be an effective way of engaging students in STEM.  Using similar ideas with expanded context about how engineering helps people, the AI learning adventure provides an even more accessible and engaging entry to engineering.

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NSTA National Conference 2014

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1223868 and 1223460.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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