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Empowerly Announces AI Scholar Program for Grades 7-12

Designed by alumni of Stanford University and MIT and taught by graduate students, the program will give kids hands-on experience with machine learning algorithms, Python and project-based learning in live coding labs.

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Few fields in computer science today are as in-demand as artificial intelligence, but it has yet to be universally embraced as a subject for K-12 classrooms. One San Francisco-based ed-tech company aiming to fill the void announced last week a new program to teach middle and high schoolers how to apply AI to real-world problems.

Empowerly, which specializes in college and career guidance, has launched its Artificial Intelligence Scholar Program for students from grades 7 through 12 to create socially impactful projects through the use of AI. The program, which was developed by graduates of Stanford University and MIT, has three parts, including machine learning, Python coding and project-based learning, according to the news release. Empowerly said in its news release that students don’t need any previous experience programming or with computer science, though if they do have experience, the program includes an advanced class.

The company's website lists numerous research tracks for students to choose from within the program, including health care and biology, sustainability, ethics and social sciences, media and politics, and business and finance, among others. The news release said the program spans 10 sessions and 25 hours of instruction, led by graduate students from Stanford, MIT and other institutions, with a 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio. During the program, students will study machine learning algorithms and techniques in an interactive format, develop Python skills using research to solve real-world problems, and collaborate on applying AI to a project for social good, the release said.

"By exposing (students) to a variety of innovative use cases, our program offers guidance on initiating AI projects, pursuing AI ventures, and preparing for college while doing social good,” Empowerly Lead Counselor and the program head Denard Jones said in a public statement.

The company said in its release that 94 percent of its students with a 3.6 GPA and above have been accepted into a top 50 school. The AI Scholar Program is accepting applications through May 20.