Algorithms: The Bridge for Young Minds to Understand Artificial Intelligence

Kara Boneillo, Fifth Grade, Reedy Creek Elementary

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

This curriculum unit seeks to teach students to think independently, as they examine the relationships between and within systems. In this unit, each activity will seek to integrate mathematics and writing, in order for students to develop strong Twenty-First Century skills. This unit will incorporate the scientific method, systems and inferences. Students will understand how to look ahead and break a complex activity into a set of simple steps, using algorithmic thinking. By designing algorithms, to simple daily tasks, students will see how mechanical daily tasks are, which will allow them to make connections about the importance of each step in any process. Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental difference between weak Artificial Intelligence and strong Artificial Intelligence throughout the unit. Students will reflect on activities to reach the realization that daily actions can be simplified into a series of steps; it’s the nervous system, and the ability to truly think, that is so complex that it is still beyond our current understanding. This is the essential problem, computer scientist and neuroscientist face, with the task of recreating a computerized version of a human brain. By the end of this unit, students will understand and utilize looking ahead and algorithmic thinking.