Understanding AI: Exploring YR Media’s Innovative Approaches to Informal Education in Artificial Intelligence

Monday, November 7, 2022
Resource Type:
Summative | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey | Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media, Public Programs, Afterschool Programs
Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Evaluators
Computing and information science
Access and Inclusion: 
Low Socioeconomic Status
Rockman et al

Artificial Intelligence (AI), the research and development of machines to mimic human thought and behavior, encompasses one of the most complex scientific and engineering challenges in history. AI now permeates essentially all sectors of the economy and society. Young people growing up in the era of big data, algorithms, and AI need to develop new awareness, content knowledge, and skills to understand humans’ relationships with these new technologies and become producers of AI artifacts themselves.

YR Media and MIT’s Understanding AI project researched and developed innovative approaches to informal education in AI. Building on learning  strategies and research methods developed over years of iterative testing, this project engaged young people to learn, create media, and communicate with public audiences about the role of AI in young people’s lives.

Rockman et al (REA), an independent research and evaluation cooperative, conducted an external evaluation of the project. Using a case study approach that drew on repeated youth surveys, observations of learning activities, and both interviews with program participants and target audiences, the evaluation explored the context of teaching, learning, and communicating about AI through youth media. In this final report, we invite readers to ponder what it takes for community-based educators to partner with young people on investigative storytelling and media making on AI, what happens when they do, and how to incorporate youth media into other teaching and learning contexts.

Funding Program: 
ITEST-Inov Tech Exp Stu & Teac, Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 

Team Members

Nisaa KirtmanNisaa KirtmanEvaluator
Kristin BassEvaluator
Alex GurnEvaluator

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