We’re partnering with six education charities and social enterprises in the United Kingdom (UK) to co-create a bespoke education programme to help tackle the gaps in STEM education and boost existing programmes through funding, volunteering, and the development of new AI resources.
Access to STEM education remains a challenge for many young people in the UK, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. Research shows that 38% of schools do not offer GCSE computer science at all, and many schools, mostly situated in disadvantaged areas, do not enrol students in triple science subjects (physics, biology and chemistry) – limiting opportunities to study science at a higher level. These barriers not only contribute to the existing attainment gap, they directly impact the number of opportunities students have to pursue a career in STEM related fields, including AI, down the line.
Developing new AI resources with the Raspberry Pi Foundation
We will be working closely with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity that promotes the study of computing and digital technologies, to develop new AI-focused resources including lesson plans for students and training for teachers. Created to be culturally relevant and accessible to all students aged 11-14, the resources will be designed to help them better understand AI and the role it will play in their future.
Over 20 volunteers from DeepMind, across various teams and disciplines, will work closely with Raspberry Pi to help shape these resources and ensure that they reflect current thinking and emerging themes in AI. Once complete, all resources will be made freely available to every school across the UK.
“For many young people in the United Kingdom, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, a career in artificial intelligence feels out of reach – and that needs to change. By focusing on education at an early age, there’s an opportunity to help break down long-standing barriers that have facilitated a system of inequalities. Our hope is that this education programme can help instil confidence in the next generation of students and eventually play a part in creating an inclusive and accessible global AI ecosystem.”
– Obum Ekeke OBE, Head of Education Partnerships at DeepMind
Register your interest with Raspberry Pi here to learn more about the new resources, or be involved in piloting the materials.
Amplifying the reach of existing programmes
DeepMind will also be providing funding and volunteering support to five other organisations. This will help bring new AI content to their existing activities, increasing the reach and the number of young people that can benefit from their programmes.
Across these programmes, we hope to reach over 500 schools (over 10% of UK secondary schools) and over 100,000 young people, with a focus on state schools and students from underrepresented groups.
Ongoing commitment to inclusive education
At DeepMind, we know that to create a strong, fair and impactful AI community, we must ensure that technology is created by – and for – those who represent the diverse world we live in. This journey begins with access to education. We’re incredibly proud to have launched various university and postgraduate initiatives like the DeepMind Scholarship Programme and the DeepMind Academic Fellowship programme, and today, are thrilled to be able to expand our reach through these partnerships to help younger students.
We know that accessibility and inclusion in early education is just one part of addressing the long-standing structural imbalances in AI, but it’s a vital one. We hope that this programme can help encourage and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers – especially those who never imagined it to even be a possibility.
To learn more about DeepMind’s education programmes, please visit our partner organisations and our website.