Local MP judges heated AI debate during Tunbridge Wells school’s STEAM week

FUTURE INTELLIGENCE: Greg Clark with pupils and staff at Rose Hill School

Rose Hill School welcomed a number of guests during its recent science, technology, engineering and maths week, including Greg Clark MP who witnessed pupils explore the world of artificial intelligence…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly shaping the lives of children and, as part of their recent STEAM week, the pupils of Rose Hill School in Tunbridge Wells delved into all aspects of this transformative technology.

Throughout the week, pupils explored its diverse capabilities, from natural language processing to image and speech recognition. Although the potential for AI to positively impact education became evident, pupils
also contemplated ethical questions such as whether children should use AI for homework, the net impact of AI on society, and the prospect of AI replacing teachers.

STEAM week is a popular whole-school affair. Pre-Prep pupils created their own AI robots, exploring simple algorithms, and programming blue bots for various tasks. They also explored mathematical concepts of sequences, patterns, and algebra then delved into serialism and computer-generated music.

Meanwhile, pupils in the Prep School, assisted by STEAM scholars, trained machine learning models to recognise text, numbers, and images.

The school welcomed inspiring guests to shed light on the role of AI beyond the classroom.

Dr Hajian, with over two decades of experience in designing solutions and platforms, offered insights into the inner workings of AI systems, comparing the human brain to its computational counterpart. He also fielded a barrage of questions from an enthralled audience at his ‘AI drop-in clinic’.

Mrs Cradick, an award-winning senior communications professional, led workshops utilising Google Bard, showcasing the immediate impact of AI-driven creativity as pupils saw their story ideas materialise on screen within seconds.

The week culminated in a visit from another notable guest, local MP Greg Clark, who used his experience working within the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee and years of heated exchanges in Parliament to judge the Inter-House debate.

His fellow judges were Nevil Phillips, a distinguished barrister and Chair of Governors, and the Head, Emma Neville, who thanked Mr Clark for sharing his time and expertise.

“We were delighted to have the Rt Hon Greg Clark visit Rose Hill School to support our AI Debating Competition. Pupils debated the potential for AI to become the next generation of educators, to engage in nuanced, structured discourse, pushing the boundaries of human-machine collaboration in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

“Mr Clark spoke enthusiastically about the importance of AI and its role in society.”

An inspiring and engaging week gave all Rose Hill pupils an insight into how they can harness the power of AI but also how crucial the skills of creativity and critical thinking will be for them to thrive alongside Artificial Intelligence in future.

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