The goal of the Summer AI camp for High School students is to introduce the students to AI with the help of lectures, tutorials, and most importantly hands-on activities. Objective is to actively engage and inspire the students. Students are not required to know coding/programming in advance. But they do need to bring enthusiasm and curiosity!

The AI summer Camp was held the week of June 19 at the AI Institute of South Carolina (AIISC) on the USC campus (AIISC on the Google Maps).

For AIISC, organizing this camp is a major activity to fullfil its mission in broadening participation in computing (BPC), DEI, and workforce development. The 2023 Summer AI camp was specially organized for the students of the Richland County School District Two (Richland Two). It is a nationally recognized school district located in suburban Columbia, South Carolina, United States, in the northeast section of Richland County. It is one of the fastest-growing districts in South Carolina. It served 28,296 students last year. Students at these schools are very diverse and have a high Pupil in Poverty (PIP) status. The PIP represents the proportion of students living in poverty. Total pupils in poverty (PIP), indicating financial need is over 55% Demographics is: 51% male, 49% female; 60%-African American; 20%-White; 12%-Hispanic; 5%-Other; and 3%-Asian.

The AI Camp had nine sessions of around three hours each (Mon. – Thur.: 9 AM – 3 PM; Fri.: 9 AM – 12 PM). The sessions were planned with a view of high engagement (the feedback shows we succeeded very well), through a combination of short lectures with lot so visuals, demos and short videos, and most importantly, hands-on activities. The camp participants did not require to have prior coding experience but all were required to bring a laptop. Organizing this camp required a very large commitment from the AIISC, which involved Prof. Amit Sheth and 10 of his graduate students throughout the week. Thursday morning session was conducted by Prof. Biplav Srivastava and four of his students.

Program Director: Prof. Amit Sheth

Richland Two: Dr. Arlene Bakutes (Organizer, who support the AI camp with DoD funded “Premier Pathways for Student Success“ project), Kirstin Bullington (teacher who accompanied the students, 2022 South Carolina STEM Educator of the Year)

Program Coordinator: Deepa Tilwani

Program staff who conducted sessions: AIISC’s graduate students.

  • Ruwan Wickramarachchi
  • Kaushik Roy
  • Renjith Prasad
  • Jinendra Malekar
  • Siva Likitha Valluru
  • Vedant Khandelwal
  • Chathurangi Jayakody Kankanamalage
  • Kaushik Lakharaju
  • Megha Chakraborty
  • Sara Rae Jones
  • Thilini Wijesiriwardene
  • Deepa Tilwani

Program volunteer who supported the discourse such as with hands-on sessions:

  • Sabha Anis
  • Nayeem Mohammad
  • Vandana Srivastava
  • Renjith Prasad
  • Jinendra Malekar

AI camp details:

  1. Lectures by AIISC faculty on topics of AI applications (mainly in healthcare, education, social and economic development), AI in gaming, AI in robotics, and AI and Ethics;

  2. Coding training in Python by an instructor that well involve the use of a popular toolkit;

  3. Exercises supervised/mentored by AIISC associated undergraduate and graduate students, including a simple chatbot development;

  4. Hands-on demos of substantial AI applications developed at the AIISC.

Program Summary:

  • In-person classes location:

    Artificial Intelligence Institute
    University of South Carolina
    1112 Greene Street, Room 513
    Columbia, SC 29208

  • Class instruction: Monday through Friday from 9 AM – 3 PM

  • Check-in time: 8:30 AM
    Check-out time: 3:00 PM

  • Lunch time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

  • The students completing the camp receive a non-credit certificate.