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UNSW to help provide basic AI literacy to more school children thanks to $1m funding

UNSW Sydney 2 mins read
Day of AI Australia is aimed at students in years 5 to 10 to help them better understand AI - and has been running since 2022. Image by Geoff O'Rourke

UNSW Sydney has agreed to a new four-year partnership in collaboration with AI in Schools to improve and expand a free program to schools that introduces teachers and students to the basics of artificial intelligence.              

Day of AI Australia is aimed at students in years 5 to 10 to help them better understand AI - what it is, how it works, and its risks and limitations - and become more responsible and ethical users and designers of AI.

The new partnership agreement has been funded via a group of supporters, including the TDM Charitable Foundation, via a philanthropic grant amounting to $982,000 over four years.

Day of AI Australia has been running since 2022 with more than 80,000 students participating over the last three years.    

The program incorporates lessons and materials, initially developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and I2 Learning, that are tailored to the Australian context by experts and specialist education partners – including those from UNSW, such as Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence Toby Walsh.

All the activities within the program are specially designed to be easily delivered by teachers with little to no background in computer science and digital technologies and to be accessible to students of all abilities.

Dr Jake Renzella, Co-Head of the Computing and Education research group, and Director of Studies (Computer Science) in the School of Computer Science Engineering at UNSW, will lead the new project.

He said: “This is a landmark collaboration between UNSW, and Day of AI Australia, and we are so excited for the future of the Day of AI Australia. This collaboration recognises the massive impact that Artificial Intelligence will have on Australian lives today, and in the future.

“It ensures Aussie kids are not only ready for the AI-shift, but poised to take advantage of the benefits it will bring.”

Natasha Banks, Program Director of Day of AI Australia, said: “The Day of AI is designed to spark students’ curiosity about AI and computer science and to encourage them to develop the skills that will be critical to the future.

“If students are able to see what AI involves and how many ways it applies to their lives, they are much more likely to consider it as a further study and career option.

“We want all Australian students to have the opportunity to be the inventors and creators of the future.”

Roly Clifton-Bligh, from TDM Foundation, said: “The TDM Foundation has been the driving force in bringing Day of AI to Australian students and we are so privileged to partner with some of Australia’s leading AI experts.

“The Day of AI Australia team and partners tailor the global lesson materials to the Australian curriculum and context, showcasing Australian scientists and technologies, their applications and impacts.      

“The TDM Foundation is working to develop the next generation of leaders in digi-tech to benefit Australia - Day of AI is an exciting initiative in this space.”


Key Facts:

Foundations and supporters, including TDM Foundation, provide significant funding to further develop the Day of AI Australia program run in partnership with UNSW Sydney.


Contact details:

Neil Martin, UNSW Sydney: n.martin@unsw.edu.au

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