Written by 11:45 am AI, Discussions, Uncategorized

**Empowering Madison High School Students with AI Skills at Fetch Bootcamp**

Madison high school students took part in a free bootcamp created by Mark Cuban to learn how to use…

The Mark Cuban Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp Initiative, a monthly program offering free AI instruction to disadvantaged high school students, was held simultaneously in 26 locations across the United States, spanning from Florida to California. The sessions were conducted via Zoom every Saturday over a four-month period starting in October. Madison, facilitated by the tech startup Fetch, was the sole Midwest participant in this initiative.

Emily Panasowich, responsible for overseeing the Social Impact Program at Fetch, expressed enthusiasm about being pioneers in this endeavor, stating, “It was really exciting for us to be the explorers, basically, in this area for it.” The program, present in cities like Boston, New York, and Madison, focuses on fostering entrepreneurship, STEM education, and establishing enduring strategic partnerships.

Panasowich mentioned, “Our Social Impact Program is fairly new here at Fetch.” She elaborated on the motivation behind their involvement, highlighting the importance of providing young perspectives with the knowledge to utilize AI for positive purposes. The curriculum covered ethical considerations and practical applications of AI, including TikTok algorithms, smart home devices, facial recognition technology, and autonomous vehicles. Students were introduced to advanced language models such as ChatGPT, capable of generating stories, responding to queries, and even producing code snippets.

Participants received complimentary Uber transportation and the opportunity to earn college credits without any prerequisite background in computer science, programming, or robotics. Mark Cuban himself delivered a speech to the students during the second week, emphasizing the value of education.

While the students engaged in activities, volunteers collaborated with them on data visualization exercises. Panasowich shared insights on the interactive challenges designed by the data analytics team, creating parallels between student activities on their smartphones and the daily tasks of Fetch employees.

At the conclusion of the program, Madison students were surprised with MacBook Pros as a token of appreciation from the Fetch team. Arina Vodyanyk, a high school senior from the Madison Metropolitan School District, expressed the community’s astonishment and gratitude for the generous gesture.

The collaboration between Fetch and organizations like Maydm, aimed at empowering girls and youths of color in STEM fields, provided students like Arina with valuable opportunities. The Mark Cuban Foundation’s commitment to facilitating participation and removing barriers was evident in the support extended to the students.

The program culminated in a thesis presentation where students like Aria Johnson showcased innovative projects. Johnson, inspired by her parents’ tech background, embraced the chance to explore AI and coding. The inclusive environment of the bootcamp, predominantly attended by female students, fostered a supportive community where participants could freely exchange ideas and experiences.

The initiative not only emphasized gender representation but also facilitated lasting friendships among all participants. The success of the program has laid a strong foundation for future endeavors, with plans to further integrate AI and machine learning concepts into student activities in the coming years. The commitment to advancing technology education remains a priority for Fetch and its volunteers, ensuring continuous progress in empowering students through innovative learning experiences.

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Last modified: February 23, 2024
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