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MIT’s FutureMakers programs help kids get their minds around — and hands on — AI

April 12, 2022

FutureMakers is part of the Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (RAISE) launched by MIT in 2021, according to Kim Patch of the MIT Media Lab.

FutureMakers offers programs for middle and high school students to learn more about AI as well as the social implications of AI technologies.

“We want to remove as many barriers as we possibly can to support diverse students and teachers,” says Cynthia Breazeal, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT who founded the Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group and also heads up the RAISE initiative. “All RAISE programs are free for educators and students. The courses are designed to meet students and teachers where they are in terms of resources, comfort with technology, and interests.”

FutureMakers currently has two programs:

  • One week workshops - organized around AI topics, students learn how AI technologies work, including social implications, then build something that uses AI
  • Six-week Create-a-Thons - a summer camp for middle and high school students to do a deep dive into AI and coding. During the final weeks of camp, students design an app for social good.

“AI is shaping our behaviors, it’s shaping the way we think, it’s shaping the way we learn, and a lot of people aren’t even aware of that,” says Breazeal. “People now need to be AI literate given how AI is rapidly changing digital literacy and digital citizenship.” 

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