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AI for Kids in Canada: Bringing AI for K12 to Canadian Middle School and High School Kids

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Artificial Intelligence AI Courses in Canada for Middle school and High School Students

EPIC Generation has partnered with AIClub to bring Artificial Intelligence classes to the Toronto and broader Canada K-12 student community.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is the technology that helps computer programs mimic tasks that come easily to the human brain, such as recognizing images, making plans and strategies, forecasting the future, and learning patterns. AI is all around our kids, and both EPIC Generation and AIClub are passionate about helping kids in Canada discover AI and learn how to use it in innovative projects to realize their vision for the future.

What is AI for K12?

Our programs make Artificial Intelligence accessible to K-12 students with unique curriculums and hands-on projects utilizing the 4C’s approach (Concepts, Context, Capability, and Creativity) where kids can learn AI without needing any of the math and complex coding that adults do. They learn how AI works (the core concepts), how these are used in real-world technologies like Digital Assistants and Self Driving Cars (Context), how to build and teach their own AIs (Capability), and how to build custom projects using their imagination (Creativity).

What have we done so far for AI for Kids Canada?

While Canada and cities such as Toronto and Montreal have a strong and growing Artificial Intelligence commercial industry, there is a lack of such education at the K-12 level.

EPIC Generation focuses on bringing new technology experiences to students, offering classes and workshops in Media topics - ranging from identifying what is true online, to stand-up comedy, to online storytelling, and more. EPIC Generation also has a TV show that provides students access to new experiences in STEM, technology, and beyond. Combined with AIClub’s AI curriculums, we have conducted two very successful pilots- for Middle School students and another for High School students.

During the 6 week period. all the kids learned AI and built custom projects which they presented to peers and family at the end of the program. They learned:

  • What artificial intelligence is, and how to build AI systems to solve various kinds of problems

  • Different types of AI

  • How AI learns, and how to measure and improve an AI’s learning performance

Each student also built a custom AI project of their choice, bringing to their project their personal interests and passions. Some example projects:

  • Abygail built a Clothing Recommendation AI. Her AI can recommend clothes for you to wear, depending on the season, outside temperatures, waistline, neckline type, and other personal preferences.

  • Lianna built a Book Genre Recommendation System. Building off her love of books and reading, this AI predicts a good genre of books to read for a given user depending on their personality, reading history, and preferences in other areas.

  • Ali built an AI to play Space Invaders. This AI plays against humans, learns the patterns of the game, and over time gets better at the game.

What is next?

Many of the kids are using their learning to continue exploring technology. As an example, some of the kids in this program are participating in an international competition, AIStars - using their AI learnings!

EPIC and AIClub are launching new offerings to expand AI literacy across Canada and beyond.

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