Research & Impact
09 Sep 2022
Education Bureau: Gifted Education Fund Project “AI education to gifted Primary Kids”
The Department of Computing & Decision Sciences has secured $1.13 million from the Gifted Education Fund of the Education Bureau in the past two years to support delivering AI education to gifted primary kids. The programme is led by Prof See-To Wing Kuen.
Children today are growing up in a world surrounded by artificial intelligence (AI): algorithms determine the information they see, help choose the videos they watch, and shape the way they learn to speak. Children can be inspired to help shape their future by better understanding how algorithms are created and how they affect the society. AI education has been widely promoted and supported in many countries. In the USA, 28 states adopted policies to support K-12 AI education between 2019 to 2020. In UK, an AI roadmap document published by the Government’s Office in 2021, was the first time recognising that learning and teaching AI is no longer a special subject for young people. In 2018, the Singapore government announced the “AI Singapore” project which aims to develop students' AI capabilities.
To further enhance the development of gifted education in Hong Kong, the Education Bureau set up the Gifted Education Fund in 2016. There are 14 off-school advanced learning programmes funded by the Gifted Education Fund for gifted students at primary and secondary levels in the current school year. Led by Prof. See-To Wing Kuen from the Department of Computing & Decision Sciences, we offered the only AI education programme to gifted primary school students. To the best of our knowledge, the programme was the first such programme in Hong Kong. We aim to equip gifted students at the primary level with the knowledge and skills of developing AI models, and develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills for personal growth and development. The programme is highly popular. With 30 places available, in this school year, we received 414 applicants from 135 different primary schools, compared to 256 applicants from 83 primary schools last year. Compared to the programme we held the last school year, we have a roughly 61% increase of applicants and more than 62% increase in terms of the applicants’ schools.
To kick off the programme, a grand opening ceremony was held on 6th August, 2022 at SEK G09. Students were accompanied by their parents to attend the ceremony event. We were delighted to invite Mr. Willy CK Choi, Senior Project Manager (Gifted Education) from the Education Bureau, Professor Mok Ka Ho, Vice-President and Lam Tsan Chair Professor of Comparative Policy, Professor Wong Man Leung, Department Head of Computing & Decision Sciences and Professor See-To Wing Kuen from Lingnan University to attend the ceremony event.
“Our goal is to equip future leaders with fundamental knowledge in data science and associated technology for a world that is increasingly driven by massive data.” An inspiring speech given by Professor Wong emphasized that Lingnan University, as a liberal art university, will fully support this programme, including the hardware part and the required technical support, and that the programme will also let students learn AI and master AI knowledge happily through games.
In the opening ceremony event, we broadcasted the learning achievements of students in the AI programme last year, which included students learning AI knowledge in the classroom, the latest technology to support the life of the elderly, and working in a team to complete group projects, testing the codes and presentations. Parents and students expressed great interests in our programme. Moreover, parents visited the venue of this programme with the accompany of Professor See-To. After a brief but meaningful discussion with Professor See-To, they appreciated that students would develop their hands-on and minds-on coding abilities and problem-solving skills to implement AI projects in a gamified environment through this programme.
This year, with the support of the Hong Kong Education Bureau and Department of Computing & Decision Sciences from Lingnan University, we endeavour to help more gifted primary school students increase motivation in learning AI through this programme.