We love helping kids progress from the coding basics towards more advanced projects and concepts. Today we are featuring one of those students, Mason a 7th grader from San Francisco.
Let’s hear from him about his project (view with subtitles here):
Advance When Ready
First students need to learn how to code effectively. There are plenty of fun projects they can make along the way, but a multi-month project is more of a year two goal. Not year two of summer camp not actually learning anything. Year two of a sharp middle school student working weekly with Breakout Mentors.
Mason’s project is well past knowing how to code, his gin rummy AI required more computer science concepts. Basic “artificial intelligence” can start out as a decision tree: what would happen if I discarded this card, would my hand be better or worse? How far ahead can I look with nesting these decisions A->B->C? There are some neat algorithms to try like minimax.
This is a great way for more advanced students to push into computer science: as needed to make an exciting project, not just learning a concept because the teacher said.
Pushing Towards Data Science and Machine Learning
Breakout Mentors has invested heavily in our resources for the artificial intelligence field of machine learning. This is one area of computer science that is changing fast, is very exciting, and enables impressive projects.
However it is also possible to use something like IBM Watson understanding very little how it works. While an exciting outcome is important, it isn’t the only goal. We start at the beginning, actually writing some of the algorithms and using the industry tools. This gives us a base of understanding, without going too far into college level mathematics like linear algebra, but giving some exposure to the basics.
This is only a fit for high school students who have been coding for a couple of years. If your son or daughter is curious about learning what it would be like working with a mentor for this, here is one of our resources for linear regression.
Get Started Now
We currently have a couple new student slots open, but expect it to change fast. In fact, we’ve heard from some parents who are going to sign up once schools are back in-person. Don’t wait because we might be full for the fall. Schedule a phone call with Breakout Mentors Founder Brian Skinner.