Curricular Content

The design and development of PrimaryAI will be guided by emerging ideas pertaining to artificial intelligence and interwoven with life science, computer science, and computational thinking concepts and practices. In other words, PrimaryAI is designed to flexibly integrate life science with rich, in-depth exposure to artificial intelligence. The PrimaryAI curricular content is driven by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with a key focus on life science disciplinary core ideas and performance expectations integrated with K-12 Computer Science Framework practices. The NGSS practice of Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking will be foregrounded throughout the project and considerations of AI and ethics will also be thematically incorporated into the project’s problem-based learning activities and lessons.


The PrimaryAI team is co-designing a problem-based learning project with elementary teachers that will utilize the following driving questions: what is causing the decline of yellow-eyed penguins and how can we use AI robots to help? They are also co-designing on and off-line, hands-on, life science and computer science lessons and activities that will help scaffold student learning and reduce cognitive load. The lessons and activities will all be couched within the larger problem-based learning project. By the end of the project, students will be able to meet the following grade 3-5 NGSS performance expectations:

  • 3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-ESS3-1: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

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