SAN JOSE, Calif., May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridescent, a global STEM education nonprofit, is working with NVIDIA on a unique educational initiative, NVIDIA Techsplorer, which is aimed at exposing underrepresented youth to cutting-edge technologies and encouraging them to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
The effort launched today with an event for 200 students from Title 1 Bay Area schools at the eighth annual GPU Technology Conference, where they learned about the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential to transform every industry.
During this half-day event, middle and high school students learned from NVIDIA engineers about AI and its applications in healthcare and automotive, participated in hands-on activities led by NVIDIA volunteers, and explored the GTC exhibition hall.
"AI is taking over every field in engineering, technology and beyond, creating a tangible risk of a disconnect between underserved communities and AI that will result in a fear that machines and technology are a threat to livelihoods and well-being. Therefore, we are addressing the core problems AI is solving," said Tara Chklovski, CEO and Founder, Iridescent. "The Techsplorer activities are designed to get students to think about how they can work alongside the innovations of AI, such as robots and self-driving cars, to solve these core problems in the future."
NVIDIA engineers introduced fundamental AI concepts, like parallel processing and the underpinnings of neural networks, which are then brought to life through hands-on design challenges.
The design challenges introduce complex topics in a fun, engaging and collaborative way and replicate a real-world engineering design cycle. Because they use everyday materials, such as rubber bands, paper clips and aluminum foil, the lessons are affordable, making them accessible to everyone.
Following the launch of Techsplorer at GTC, the AI design challenges, explanatory videos and supporting educational materials will be made available on Curiosity Machine, Iridescent's online platform that reaches about 1 million students, parents and educators annually.
"Techsplorer aims to make learning core technology concepts available to all. The AI curriculum allows students to discover in their own unique way how to engage with AI in the workforce," said Tonie Hansen, Senior Director, Corporate Responsibility, NVIDIA. "Imagination and creativity are key to getting kids to think critically about the engineering design process, and Techsplorer's hands-on challenges get them thinking in ways they may not have before."
Iridescent is a science, engineering, and technology education nonprofit organization that empowers underrepresented young people to become self-motivated learners, inventors, and leaders. Founded in 2006 by CEO Tara Chklovski, Iridescent now has more than 66,000 children, parents, mentors, and educators have participated in its two global programs: Technovation, the world's largest global tech entrepreneurship program for girls, and Curiosity Machine, a unique, open-ended, project-based learning program that inspires students, families, and teachers to solve science and engineering problems together. Iridescent has proudly trained more than 3,500 engineers and scientists to develop design challenges and/or mentor students and families. In recognition of its pioneering work for collective impact in underserved communities, Iridescent received the prestigious 2015 Excellence in Mentoring award, a US2020 White House Initiative.
M. Fortunoff Communications
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