New AI in Math program funded by the U.S. Department of Education

The Concord Consortium, in collaboration with Texas Tech University, the University of Florida, and WestEd, was awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The five-year project will develop a year-long Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Math supplemental certificate program for secondary Algebra I or Integrated Math 1 classes. Two public virtual schools will implement the program.

The AI in Math program will provide high-need students the opportunity to develop AI literacy and self-efficacy in solving problems using AI and learning AI topics, and simultaneously improve their math achievement and attitudes toward math. High-need students include female students; racial/ethnic minority students underrepresented in the computing field; and underserved students who are economically disadvantaged, living in remote rural areas, or enrolled in under-resourced schools.

Virtual schools offer a flexible and accessible learning environment that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling students who may have previously struggled to access quality education to engage in rigorous academic programs and tap into a vast array of learning resources.

The AI in Math program builds on Project Director Jie Chao’s prior work on two National Science Foundation-funded projects: Narrative Modeling with StoryQ and AI Education Across the Curriculum. These projects have developed a web-based text mining and machine learning environment called StoryQ and embedded the app in curriculum modules to introduce high school students to core AI concepts and AI-powered career opportunities.

“AI is transforming numerous industries and generating enormous wealth. However, the wealth generated by AI advancement is unevenly distributed across different demographic groups, exacerbating existing inequities in society,” Chao notes. “Inequalities arising from current AI development are partially rooted in the unequal access to AI educational opportunities. We’re thrilled to offer a program that will broaden access and reach more students.”

Rather than adding AI topics in computer science courses or creating standalone AI courses, this new, early-phase project will integrate AI education into the high school math curriculum. The curriculum design will be guided by the K-12 AI Guidelines and the Common Core State Standards. Over 60 teachers will be trained to implement the AI in Math program, develop AI literacy, reinforce culturally relevant teaching strategies, and grow their AI identity and sense of belonging to the AI education community.

Concord Consortium president and CEO Chad Dorsey, who has championed the importance of preparing learners for an AI-filled future, says, “Understanding how AI operates and how it is transforming our world is crucial for students’ futures in careers and as citizens, and ensuring that such technologies benefit society equitably is paramount. This grant has the potential to be truly transformative, forging new ground for AI education and providing teachers and learners in underrepresented and underserved communities important experience with AI tools and increased literacy around AI’s role in careers and our world.”

The Concord Consortium is a nonprofit research and development organization located in Concord, MA, and El Cerrito, CA. Our mission is to innovate and inspire equitable, large-scale improvements in STEM teaching and learning through technology.