ChemAIstry: A Novel Software Tool for Teaching Model Training in K-8 Education




Martin, Fred
Mahipal, Vaishali
Jain, Garima
Ghosh, Srija
Sanusi, Ismaila Temitayo

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Association for Computing Machinery


Machine learning (ML) systems are increasingly in use in society. For young learners to be informed citizens and have full career potential it is important for them to understand these concepts. To support this learning, we created "ChemAIstry,'' an interactive software tool for children which demonstrates training and classification in machine learning. Students select which everyday items are safe to bring into a chemistry lab (e.g., a lab coat is safe; pizza is not). These selections serve as training input for a decision tree classifier. After training, students see how the trained model performs in classifying new objects. ChemAIstry was tested with 40 students aged 7 to 14 years at a public K?8 school. The software captured student selections during training. We analyzed these interactions to yield a "Correspondence Score,'' a measure of student understanding of the classification task. We screen-recorded student use of the software and audio-recorded our conversations with them during this use. Our analysis of these data indicates that students were able to understand the concept of model training, including that items were subsequently classified based on their training input. More than half of the student trials indicated that students correctly understood the task. This suggests ChemAIstry was effective in introducing students to these ideas in machine learning. We recommend continued development of related tools for curriculum integration of AI in K-8 education.



machine learning, artificial intelligence, decision trees, training model, models, K-8 students, software tools


Martin, F., Mahipal, V., Jain, G., Ghosh, S., & Sanusi, I. T. (2024). ChemAIstry: A Novel Software Tool for Teaching Model Training in K-8 Education. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 55th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 1, Portland, Oregon.


Computer Science