Machine Learning for Middle Schoolers--Stephen Wolfram Blog


And here we begin to see some of the subtlety of machine learning. The actual classifier we built works only because in the training examples for each character there were ones with different backgrounds--so it can figure out that background isn't the only distinguishing feature.

How To Earn Extra Through Tutoring STEM Subjects

Forbes Technology

Want to make money on the side with your tech skills (and help others in the process)? Consider tutoring high-school or middle-school students in your field of expertise. It's a great excuse to continue your own lifelong learning, pass your skills along to a new generation, and, of course, pull in that side cash. Tutoring STEM subjects is financially lucrative; they're in-demand skills, and kids and parents are thinking ahead to college majors. Though it depends on experience, location, and demand, it's not uncommon for STEM tutors to make anywhere from $25 to $75 an hour.

ARTY: Fueling Creativity through Art, Robotics and Technology for Youth

AAAI Conferences

ARTY is a week-long program for middle school students to teach them programming of robots and allow them to express themselves artistically. It was started in 2013 and ran its fourth edition in 2016. We describe the ideas behind the inception of this program, its curriculum, our experiences during the 2016 workshop and challenges/future directions for the program. Our primary intent in this paper is to convey the program curriculum and its design, including the way in which robots can be viewed as vehicles for artistic expression. Some results from a brief attitudinal survey that was administered before and after the workshop are also included along with a discussion of outcomes assessment and issues.

How NASA's Astrobee Robot Is Bringing Useful Autonomy to the ISS

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Since 2006, NASA has had a trio of small, free-flying robots on board the International Space Station. Called SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites), these robots have spent about 600 hours participating in an enormous variety of experiments, including autonomous formation flying, navigation and mapping, and running programs written by middle school students in team competitions. But beyond serving as a scientific platform, SPHERES weren't designed to do anything especially practical in terms of assisting the astronauts or flight controllers, and it's time for a new generation of robotic free fliers that's fancier, more versatile, and will be a big help for the humans on the ISS. Last fall, IEEE Spectrum visited NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., to have a look at the latest Astrobee prototype and meet the team behind the robot. Astrobee is a cube about 32 centimeters on a side.

Can robots improve Kuwait's educational sector?


During Kuwait's third National Competition for Robotics held at the Nusaibah Bet Kaab School for girls on April 18, one question continually came to the fore: can robotics play a role in improving education? Robotics competitions offer a chance to encourage students to build their own solutions to real-world problems using science and maths. Building a robot is a meticulous and difficult process that requires collaborative efforts from all team members. "The role of these competitions is important to develop the abilities and potential of students and to encourage innovation in scientific sectors, which might see great leaps today," said Kuwait's minister of education and higher education Bader Al-Issa. Around 20 projects developed by elementary and middle school students were exhibited at the competition.

Using Multiple Representations to Simultaneously Learn Computational Thinking and Middle School Science

AAAI Conferences

Computational Thinking (CT) is considered a core competency in problem formulation and problem solving. We have developed the Computational Thinking using Simulation and Modeling (CTSiM) learning environment to help middle school students learn science and CT concepts simultaneously. In this paper, we present an approach that leverages multiple linked representations to help students learn by constructing and analyzing computational models of science topics. Results from a recent study show that students successfully use the linked representations to become better modelers and learners.

Problem Posing in AnimalWatch: An Interactive System for Student-Authored Content

AAAI Conferences

Bringing users into the process of content development may help to reduce the time and cost associated with tutoring system development, and may benefit users by deepening their understanding of the domain. We describe a pilot effort with middle school students who successfully authored word problems for the AnimalWatch intelligent tutoring system for Grade 6 math, and the design and pilot testing of a new module for user-authoring of AnimalWatch problems.

Self-Explanatory Simulators for Middle-School Science Education: A Progress Report Kenneth D. Forbus

AAAI Conferences

Creating new kinds of educational software has been one motivation for qualitative physics. Our research has brought us to the stage where we are now creating such software, and focusing some of our efforts on investigating how its educational benefits can be optimized. This essay describes one architecture of the three that we are developing: The incorporation of self-explanatory simulators into active illustrations, systems that provide an environment for guided experimentation. We start by examining why qualitative physics is useful for science education, and then describe the active illustrations architecture. We then discuss some of the issues that have arisen in moving our software from laboratory to classroom, and our plans for deployment.

A Learning Support Method in Qualitative Simulation-based Economic Education

AAAI Conferences

Table 1: Qualitative state E-learning has been recognized as a promising field in which to apply artificial intelligence technologies[1][2]. We proposed an economic education support system, which helps users learn about economic dynamics based on qualitative simulation[3]. Our paper describes how our system should support end-users learning in the economic education. Existing study, such as [2], proposed the useful tools based on qualitative simulation for middle school students. The main aim of this paper is showing how students are intelligently supported based on their conditons.

Dynamically Sequencing an Animated Pedagogical Agent

AAAI Conferences

One of the most promising opportunities introduced by rapid advances in knowledge-based learning environments and multimedia technologies is the possibility of creating animated pedagogical agents. These agents should exhibit three properties: timely domain coverage (they should clearly communicate fundamental concepts and relationships within the allotted time); contextuality (they should provide explanations in appropriate problem-solving contexts); and continuity (their activities and utterances should be pedagogically, visually, and aurally coherent). We have developed the coherence-structured behavior space approach to creating animated pedagogical agents. This is a two-step approach. First, we design a behavior space of animation and audio segments that are structured by prerequisite relationships and a continuity metric. Second, we navigate coherent paths through the space to dynamically sequence behaviors. This creates seamless global behaviors that communicate fundamental knowledge and provide contextualized problem-solving advice. The coherence-structured behavior space approach has been implemented in Herman the Bug, an animated pedagogical agent for Design-A-Plant, a knowledge-based learning environment for botanical anatomy and physiology. Formative evaluations of the agent with middle school students are encouraging.