About

How to Train Your Robot was originally developed as an extension of the AI + Ethics for Middle School curriculum. In its current form, How to Train Your Robot provides a full, one-week of activities that allow middle school students to explore artificial intelligence and ethics through hands-on activities.

In this course, students participate in a range of hot-topic discussions and hands-on, creative activities to learn about how artificial intelligence is impacting society today. Students will design robot companions to solve real-world problems and use machine learning to make them intelligent. At the end of the course, you will have designed your very own robot companion to share with the world.

In 2019, the first version of the curriculum was piloted in Massachusetts public schools during their annual STEM week. We trained in-service middle school teachers to dive into AI and guide their students to complete AI and robotics projects. In 2020, we partnered with Amazon Future Engineers to host week-long, online workshops with middle school teachers from around the United States. In 2020-21 we invited middle school teachers from around the country to bring the activities into their classrooms for the duration of the school year. Resources from 2019: Educator Guide | Student Workbook

A summary of the key activities from How to Train Your Robot (as presented during the Summer 2020 workshops) is below.
Summary of HTTYR Activities

Research Publications

2022

  • Randi Williams, Safinah Ali, Nisha Devasia, Daniella DiPaola, Jenna Hong, Stephen P. Kaputsos, Brian Jordan, Cynthia Breazeal. 2022. AI+ ethics curricula for middle school youth: Lessons learned from three project-based curricula. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 1-59. [PDF]

2021

  • Randi Williams, Stephen P. Kaptsos, Cynthia Breazeal. 2021. Teacher Perspectives on How to Train Your Robot, A Middle School AI and Ethics Curriculum. In Proceedings of the 10th Symposium on Education Advances in Artificial Intelligence (EAAI ā€™21). AAAI, Menlo Park, CA, USA. [PDF][Appendix][Slides]

  • Tejal Reddy, Randi Williams, Cynthia Breazeal. 2021. Text Classification for AI Education. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE'21). [PDF][Poster][Video]

  • Randi Williams. 2021. How to Train Your Robot: Project-Based AI Education for Middle School Classrooms. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE'21). [PDF][Poster][Video]

2020

  • Randi Williams and Cynthia Breazeal. 2020. How to Train Your Robot: A Middle School AI and Ethics Curriculum. Presented in the International Workshop on Education in Artificial Intelligence K-12 (EDUAI ā€™20). [PDF][Slides]