Pupils participate in Hackathon

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way we work, play and interact with each other. Cannons Creek Independent School recently hosted local EdTech startup company, Mindjoy. Grade 6-9 pupils were fortunate enough to be afforded the opportunity to participate in the “Get Creative with Artificial Intelligence (AI)” Hackathon. We interact with AI every day in the form of predictive search in Google, Netflix / Spotify recommendations, and Whatsapp predictive text. Pupils were exposed to this up-and-coming technology and skills, to better prepare them to thrive in the digital economy. During their session, they were exposed to a type of AI called a Language Model where they needed to read and explore the code given.

Communication, and having a curious mindset were skills that were developed during this exercise. The Hackathon involved pupils being given a problem and the tech needed, and they then needed to solve the problem – to program an AI assistant to help with a Homework assignment, i.e. writing an essay. Using, pupils were able to change the AI in terms of the age that the AI would imitate, what language it spoke, and its preferences. They were able to change its output in terms of making a list, writing an essay, writing a song, and writing a joke. “I’m going to use this for all of my creative writing, thanks Cannons Creek!” – Khloe Potgieter, Grade 6 pupil.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to see the real application of AI technology, and understand how problems can be surmounted when humans and computers work together. Thank you to Mindjoy and their enthusiastic facilitators for making this all a possibility. We are excited at the prospect of running our own Hackathon in the future.” – Mrs Louise Nivison, IT Integrator. Click to read about Technology at Cannons, here.

Mindjoy is a local EdTech startup on a mission to build the next generation of coders and innovators. They connect learners with peers from around the world, and projects that accelerate their potential to express themselves through technology and make things with code. They focus on 21st-century skill acquisition through real-world projects (such as creating art, exploring data, building games and creating with AI). We are excited to be partnering with them and recommend taking advantage of this exciting opportunity! For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

Some other comments:

“I discovered that nothing is impossible with AI and that perseverance is key when it comes to bugs and code errors.”
“I really liked creating a homework bot and seeing what AI can really do to help us in our daily lives.”
“It was so fun and I learned so much about coding! I made a ton of errors but I also learnt how to fix those errors.”

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