Community Middle School Students Learn About Artificial Intelligence Through “Hour of AI”

Community Middle School students dove into the world of artificial intelligence through “Hour of AI” – an interactive lesson developed by Amazon Future Engineer that allows students to explore their potential in computer science and STEM education. The lesson was also designed to generate interest in AI during Computer Science Education Week. 

Led by Mr. Gary Henningsen, eighth grade students learned how to code their own space-themed Amazon Alexa skills on MIT App Inventor in one hour during their Computer Applications class.  

“The lesson did a great job of helping me visualize and utilize the commands that go into programming an Alexa device,” said eighth grader Carter Arias. “I was able to actually see and hear my code come to life and that was a really cool and rewarding experience.” 

Amazon Future Engineer partnered with three organizations—Project STEM, Mobile CSP, and National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)—to create these hour-long lesson plans to help students understand the mechanics of voice artificial intelligence systems.  

Students were able to experience how much detail goes into Voice AI and grasped how Voice AI uses machine learning to teach itself how to understand language commands. “This was a great experience for them to further understand how AI works and how it is always learning and improving,” said Henningsen.