You Know AI Has Arrived When We’re Teaching It In Elementary School (AAAI/EAAI Outstanding Educator Award)


David Touretzky (Carnegie Mellon University), Christina Gardner-McCune (University of Florida), Fred Martin (University of Massachusetts Lowell), and Deborah Seehorn

Seminar Room
Abstract: In mid-2018 we launched the AI4K12 initiative ( to develop national guidelines for teaching AI in K-12. The AI4K12 Working Group produced a list of “Five Big Ideas in AI” that has influenced views world-wide about what students should know about AI. We are now releasing detailed grade band progression charts for each big idea as guidance for curriculum developers. is also working with education departments in 15 states and 2 US territories to help them incorporate AI into their K-12 curriculum standards. In this talk we’ll share what AI looks like in elementary school and beyond.
David S. Touretzky is a Research Professor in the Computer Science Department and Neuroscience Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the founder and chair of the AI4K12 Initiative ( Touretzky’s research interests over his 40+ year career have included knowledge representation, connectionist modeling, computational neuroscience (specifically, spatial representations in the rodent brain), cognitive robotics, and CS and AI education. He is a Senior Member of AAAI, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery.

Christina Gardner-McCune is an Associate Professor in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Dr. Gardner-McCune is the co-chair of the AI for K-12 Initiative ( and Director of the Engaging Learning Lab. As Director of the Engaging Learning Lab research group @ UF, Gardner-McCune and her students research and develop engaging hands-on learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers in the areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, mobile app development, game design, and Introductory programming.

Fred Martin is Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Undergraduate Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Kennedy College of Sciences and Professor in its Computer Science Department. Martin’s research team develops and studies new computational technologies for STEM teaching and learning, including, a virtual reality programming environment, and, a cloud-based collaborative data visualization platform. He served on the Board of Directors of the Computer Science Teachers Association from 2014–2020, including as chair from 2018–2019.

Deborah Seehorn served as the chair of the 2011 CSTA Computer Science Standards Task Force and as Co-Chair of the 2016 CSTA Computer Science Standards Task Force. After more than 40 years in K-12 education, she retired in 2015 from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Deborah has presented about CS education at multiple conferences, including CSTA. She currently serves as the North Carolina state lead for ECEP (Expanding Computer Education Pathways).