Computer Science and Computational Thinking in the Senior School and Sixth Form
This year a group of our Year 8 girls have used their STEMM enrichment time to learn about Machine Learning, how it works and how it impacts upon our lives.
Our girls began to understand the role that ‘big data’ and the machines that learn from this data are used to change their experience of the world. They even built a basic machine learning ‘intelligence’ that could spot patterns in words.
Girls created a ‘taxononomy’, a set of rules to understand how an image of a butterfly might be distinguished from a bird.
We created a ‘machine learning’ engine and trained it to distinguish a girl's name from a boy's name, with amazing success.
Whether or not we realise it, Machine Learning is having an enormous impact on much of our everyday lives: from social media and advertising, to how candidates are selected for job interviews and even on how democracy can be influenced. It is also a topic that, for many, is shrouded in mystery.
This project lifted the fog surrounded Machine Learning and left our girls with confidence and curiosity about not just the technology and its benefits, but the many ethical concerns about machine learning, privacy and ‘big data’.
From next year this project will be available to every Year 8 girl as part of STEMM enrichment, and girls can expect Machine Learning to be embedded into the Year 9 Computer Science curriculum.
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