By Mehar Bhasin and Pahal Bhasin
We are delighted to share about the amazing success of the Summer 2022 Artificial Intelligence + Entrepreneurship Program, hosted by STEAMBloom.com, from June 12th – Aug 10th.
PROGRAM: AI Concepts, Applications and Ethics
The 8-session online enrichment program (free of cost) introduced motivated high school students (primarily from underrepresented communities) from around the world to AI concepts, AI application (in areas including drawing, healthcare, biotechnology) and AI ethics.
As part of the summer program, to ensure the team applied the learnings in real world, we also planned a competition related to a mock AI start-up, Top 5 projects were awarded total prize money of $500, which was made possible since I got a $500 cash award as prize money for being a National Award Winner from NCWIT; I decided to use those funds to support the cause I strongly believe in. The 5 winning projects were submitted by students in Canada, Egypt, India, Nepal, and US, and 3 winning teams were all female students!
ATTENDEES: Global participation from underrepresented communities
We received interest from 1180 students from 26 countries. The response far exceeded our estimates. To maintain quality learning, we 'admitted' ~5% students, and for the benefit of others, we shared the recording of the live sessions. It is also worthwhile to note that almost 80% of those who registered were females, minorities and from underrepresented geographies.
SPEAKERS: Amazing speakers from industry, academia and non-profits
We would like to thank all our speakers who gave their generous amount of time and shared valuable insights. Here are a few of our speakers:
Brihu Sundararaman (Yale University – CS ‘24, Building Shuttle, Founding Engineer @ ProPhone)
Harirpiya Mehta (MIT ’20, Software Engineer at Microsoft)
Isabella Mandis (Harvard ’26, National Center for Women & IT Award - Honorable Mention)
Soham Patil (Virginia Tech CS ‘26 Prev: VP Ops @KiranaKart/ Zepto (YC W21), LaunchX ’21, Atlas Fellow ‘22)
Sruthi Kurada (University of Pennsylvania ‘26- M&T Program, Google Science Fair Top 100 Global Winner)
We appreciate the wonderful support of the speakers regarding our efforts in driving love for AI among underrepresented communities. All of them are such inspiring speakers and amazing role models. Here is the link to the recordings from conference
OUTCOME: Excellent Qualitative and Quantitative Feedback
The feedback from ~ 60 attendees was motivating. They highlighted that the event was planned well, the sessions from the speakers were insightful, and working on the project allowed them a real-world learning experience. Here are a few testimonials:
It was also really interesting seeing how each presenter started in the fields of AI, and their different takes on it and how they applied technical knowledge to their own fields. The resources provided in each session were also very helpful and very rewarding to go through!
The things I liked most about these sessions were how detailed they were. I got to learn so much more about AI and Entrepreneurship. I have always thought of being an entrepreneur myself but had no knowledge about it whatsoever and no idea who to talk to but through these sessions. I learned a lot and now feel like I have a chance at being an entrepreneur.
I liked how the speakers and STEAM BLOOM hosts were extremely eager to answer all of our questions, regardless of the necessity and importance. I didn't ever think that I would get anywhere real with these sessions, but I was proven wrong and that in my view is a great thing. I also liked how we were taught about AI transforming different areas, and that was fascinating . I am thankful for all the speakers, and I am also thankful for being given this opportunity. Thank you STEAM BLOOM for this amazing opportunity.
The speakers each time were diverse and were excellent teachers and their explanation was understandable and our ability to communicate with you at any time and ask you questions was a very beautiful thing
Super informative and knowledgeable. It was a great learning experience!
The classes were top-notch, and yeah, the interactive sessions with the invited guests made it interesting.
Loved it all… program organization, teaching style, competitions.
The guest speakers were so amazing it was a pleasure to listen to them, and an amazing overall experience which helped me develop even more interest in AI. Might as well consider it for my future endeavors :)
Shoutout to Mehar and Pahal for giving me this opportunity to learn AI concepts. They never stepped back to clear our doubts within the session or after the session.
In all the sessions I learnt something new, which was an amazing experience.
I loved the organization of the program and your keenness to benefit us and to record lectures. I had a great passion for this field. Now my passion has grown. Thank you for your effort.
There were many things that I liked about the program. The program gave me a lot of knowledge about AI and its application. I learned many interesting things about AI thanks to this amazing program. The program was also organized very well. STEAM Bloom team is amazing! They are very kind, helpful and supportive. They immediately inform you about any changes in the program and always respond to your emails and inquiries.
I loved how beginner-friendly it was! Every speaker started from the ground up and built on the basics.
We rolled out a survey to all attendees. Here is the average score from (60 responses), on a scale of 0 (low) to 5 (high), for three key questions we asked:
Before the program started, how would you rate knowledge of AI (AI concepts, AI Ethics and AI applications in the real-world)? Score of 2.1
After attending the program, how would you rate knowledge of AI? Score of 4.0
After attending the program, how would you rate your interest to learn more about AI? Score of 4.4
We were thrilled with the results!
A Word of Gratitude: AI4ALL , NCWIT and Speakers
A big thank you to the AI4ALL organization for the curriculum support we got. Also, I wanted to convey gratitude to Dr. Olga Russakovsky, Dr. Jaime Fernández Fisac and Dr Edward Felten, Directors at Princeton AI4ALL, from whom I learnt (during the course I attended last summer) about cutting-edge AI research, and explored the societal impacts of AI, besides realizing the need to increase diversity and inclusion in the field. And I used some of the learnings, as we designed the program for the summer.
Also, I again wanted to thank NCWIT and amazing speakers for their support.
Organizing the Summer '22 Artificial Intelligence + Entrepreneurship Program has been a truly transformative experience not only in terms of learning and personal growth, but also encouraging us even more to make a difference in the community!