Christina is 9 years old. She loves dancing, art, and science, and every morning she recites her own affirmations to remind herself of her inner strength and values.
Dina is Christina’s mom. She encourages and supports Christina to try new things, reminds her of her beauty and her intelligence, and helps find new opportunities to continually help Christina explore her curiosity. So when the community resources center where Christina takes dance lessons announced they would be offering the Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge, Dina signed them up, excited by the opportunity to learn more about science and technology. With that, Christina and Dina became part of the community of nearly 7,000 students and parents participating in the AI Family Challenge across the world.
Since then, Dina and Christina have attended every session of the program, learning more each week as they work through progressively harder projects. For Dina, it’s led to her feeling more positively about AI – “I feel like I’m open to AI, I think it benefits our society, but [there’s] a small percentage that feels like will it take over… but after the AI class, it gives you more of the insight on how safe it can be vs. a human as an example. It gives you behind the scenes insight.”
As for Christina, Dina told us that Christina “didn’t know much about it before, but now she’s starting to understand how much we rely on AI and how important it is and how it works. She’s starting to be more aware.” And that awareness is already having a profound effect – “it’s already impacting her life. Once you teach someone something you never know what they’ll do in the community, it gives them the confidence to be involved in other things.”
“Just as challenging as it is, it is just as rewarding”– Overcoming Challenges
Of course, there are challenges to the program as well. The hands-on projects can be difficult to build, and it can be difficult to collaborate as a parent-child team.
“That is the challenge too – your child is a child. I’m having a hard time articulating thoughts, and communicating with a kid, and trying to organize thoughts or get her ideas out is also hard. Teaching a child how to communicate better and work in a group, working with a child or with anybody [is a challenge]. Just as challenging as it is, it is just as rewarding.
Parenting a child is a challenge period. No parent is perfect. I feel like we try our best and try to be active and [do] extra curricular activities. Try to always tell her she’s beautiful and try to encourage her.”
Talking to Dina and Christina, we got to see that encouragement firsthand. We got to hear how their relationship has strengthened, how their connection to their community has deepened and how they’re already thinking about how what they can do for their community with all that they’re learning about AI.
When Christina says “I will make a difference in my home, in my community, and in the world.” we can’t imagine a world where she doesn’t – because she already is.