Machine Learning for Kids
Choose from a variety of hands-on activities that introduce simple machine learning models to students through games and interactive projects.
1 – 4 Hours
Estimated Cost of Materials
6 – 19+
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
English, Swedish, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Latin American)
In this Activity Kit, you will help students train simple machine-learning models and use them to play games and complete interactive projects. This Activity Kit introduces students to the principles and implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence. In this activity, you and your students will input data and the machine creates links that help it answer questions that are not in the data. You can pick from over two dozen activities to fit your time and audience age requirements.
- An IBM Cloud account for the instructor
- Experience with the programming language Scratch is helpful but not required
- Students must have computers with internet access - sharing one computer between 2-3 students works well
- Ensure the school or group you are teaching will have computers with internet access; sharing one computer between 2-3 students works well.
- Register for an IBM Cloud account if you do not have one already.
- Select the Machine Learning Project(s) that you want to use for your event from the "Worksheet" page on the Machine Learning for Kids site. Ensure you choose Projects that are relevant to the age group you are teaching and for the appropriate amount of time. The screenshot below shows an example Scratch, a simplified programming language, that uses building blocks to teach kids about programming.
- Download the Project Instructions sheets for Teachers and for Students for the Project you select. These instruction pages will provide helpful information about what exactly the students need to do to complete the Project. You may also want to print copies of the Student instructions for the Project(s) you have selected to hand out to the class.
- Once you have decided on the Project on the Worksheet page, you will need to create an account. Click the link below and click "Get Started." On the following page, click "Sign Up" and then click "I am a teacher or leader of coding club" and follow the instructions for an "Unmanaged Class Account." This Class Account will be the account your students use to log in to participate in the Project and requires an IBM Cloud account. After confirming your email, you can log back into the Machine Learning for Kids site and use your Class Account for your activity. The Machine Learning for Kids website provides access to Watson Assistant running in the IBM Cloud. As the teacher, you will need to access the IBM Cloud and create API keys. These keys give the instructor access to Watson Assistant, IBM's Machine Learning system. As a teacher, the anonymous user ID and password you create will be distributed to your class who will then be able to access IBM's Watson Assistant. Information about how to do this and a step-by-step guide can be found here (note: you will need to be logged into the Machine Learning for Kids site).
- Review this help guide for any questions that arise during your rehearsal or set up here:
- Allow approximately 1 hour to walk through the Projects you have selected, review both the Teacher instructions and Student instructions and to create your IBM Cloud Account and your Class Account
- Review this help guide for any questions that arise during your rehearsal or set up.
- Give a brief overview of machine learning and the Project(s) the students will be doing.
- Instruct students to log onto Machine Learning for Kids using your Class Account credentials:
- Instruct students to download and follow the instructions for the Machine Learning Project you have selected, or hand out the printed copies.
- Have fun!
IBM Cloud Account Information for Volunteers
IBM employees are encouraged to use their internal IBM Cloud accounts, which include all Lite services at no charge. IBM volunteers can also register for a Lite account following the link below. Questions can also be posted on the IBM Volunteers Slack channel.
Both IBM volunteers and non-IBM volunteers who require Cloud access beyond a Lite account are encouraged to request access to the IBM Citizenship Cloud by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following subject line “Citizenship Cloud Access.” In the body of the email, please outline what cloud resources you need and which Activity Kit will be used. Students will get appropriate access directly from their teachers. Volunteers who only require a Lite account do not need to ask for access to the IBM Citizenship Cloud.