How to Train Your Robot

Randi Williams

How to Train Your Robot is a curriculum for students in 5-8th grade to explore artificial intelligence and ethics. In this course, students participate in a range of hot-topic discussions and hands-on, creative activities to learn about how artificial intelligence is impacting society today. Students design robot companions to solve real-world problems and use machine learning to make them intelligent. At the end of the week, there is a showcase where students can share their inventions with their communities and the public.


We are working with i2 Learning to develop this curriculum and deliver it to general education teachers in schools around Massachusetts. i2 Learning is an organization that develops STEM curricula and professional development sessions so that all teachers can feel confident in their ability to bring hands-on STEM lessons to their classrooms. In addition to i2 Camps over the summer, i2 Learning also leads the Massachusetts STEM Week where teachers flip their classrooms upside-down for a week-long dive into STEM.

Teacher Training

With i2, we trained teachers to deliver this week-long course to their students. Our hope is to empower teachers to understand AI well enough to facilitate accurate and meaningful conversations about the impact of technology on society and the role that their students can play in shaping the future. We aim to study how teachers engage with the curriculum and their students so that we can scale learning about AI in a formal education setting.

External Tools and Resources

We would like to thank the following groups for allowing us to leverage their tools and resources for this project:

  • IBM Watson Credits via the MIT-IBM Partnership
  • Machine Learning for Kids by Dale Lane
  • Scratch 2.0 Extensions by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group
  • Teachable Machine by Google Creative Lab