Udvar hazy artificial intelligence summit attracts 300 students articles fairfaxtimes.com georgia state university rec center

“it’s a mission of girls computing league in general to give access to computer science and technology education to those that might not have the opportunity to do so themselves,” girls computing league chief innovation officer and kavya’s brother neeyanth kopparapu said. “with the new and upcoming advances in artificial intelligence…we thought that would be the perfect way to introduce high school students to the future of technology and computer science.”

He recognizes, though, that most students do not have access to the same opportunities offered at thomas jefferson, a state-chartered magnet school in alexandria that is currently ranked as the best high school in virginia and as one of the top high schools in the country by U.S. Georgia state university job openings news & world report.

Both belong to the fairfax county public schools system, and collaboration between the schools is not unusual.

Weyanoke offers afterschool tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment programs to its kindergarten through fifth-grade students led by their teenage peers from thomas jefferson.

Serving a much smaller population of about 530 students, weyanoke’s student body is 51 percent hispanic or latino, about 24 percent black, 14 percent asian, and just under 10 percent white. Georgia state university number more than 65 percent of its students used english learner services in the 2017-2018 school year, according to the school’s profile.

While thomas jefferson offers a wide variety of classes with an emphasis on science, math, and technology, 13 percent of students who attend weyanoke have no home internet access, and a quarter of all students can only access the internet through their parents’ cell phones, according to weyanoke principal felicia usher.

Weyanoke is one of 46 FCPS elementary schools that qualified for title I funding for the 2018-2019 school year, meaning that it has at least 45 percent poverty and receives federal money to upgrade its educational programming in the hopes of closing academic achievement gaps, FCPS says.

According to usher, budget constraints necessitated cuts in weyanoke’s science and computer classes, so it came as a particular relief that the elementary school was chosen as one of five recipients of a $5,000 donation from girls computing league to start an afterschool coding program that will be run by a team from the nonprofit.

“this kind of supplemental activity can create real possibilities for our students, allowing them to experience science in a low-risk, high-reward environment and to play with the toys that many of them would otherwise never see,” usher said. “when students can see that they can program robots, solve problems, and work well with technology, the distance to TJ won’t seem so far away.”

Expanding the availability of technology education to girls and other underserved groups, such as black, latino, and low-income children, has been a core part of girls computing league’s mission since it was founded by kavya, who still serves as the organization’s CEO despite now studying biology and computer science at harvard university.

That first year primarily consisted of speakers coming in to talk to attendees, but based on the feedback they received, organizers decided to make the follow-up event more interactive, enlisting graphics processing unit manufacturer nvidia and the education nonprofit AI4ALL to conduct demonstrations.

According to neeyanth, girls computing league raised about $70,000 from sponsors to support the artificial intelligence summit, fund the FCPS title I school donations, and to contribute money to help a handful of colleges start their own A.I. Summits.

He says understanding technology has become increasingly important for all students regardless of whether they want to become a developer or pursue a career in computer science, since it influences everything from how people communicate to the delivery of medicine.

“we have to look past simply using technology to enable us to do the same things we’ve been doing,” ocasio said. “we want to be able to use technology and artificial intelligence to allow us to do things that are yet to be imagined…we are just beginning to take advantage of technology, but this generation really can take us to the next level.”