The Generation AI high school pilot program, developed by the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) and implemented in partnership with the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MoESCS), was officially launched at the Mergelyan Institute. Principals and educators from the schools selected to be involved in the Generation AI program, government officials, representatives of various state departments, academic and industrial sectors participated in the event.
Zhanna Andreasyan, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports, congratulated the participants on the program’s inauguration, expressing her appreciation to the FAST for their hard work and fruitful collaboration. She hoped the program would be continuous through collaborative efforts with educational institutions.
“I am delighted by the existence of such an initiative that allows us to support the ongoing educational reforms in our country in several directions. As technological and mathematical education progresses, new tools and conditions are created, which contribute to improving the quality of STEM education. It’s important that the program fully complies with the new standard with its tools: project learning, credit system, and flexible and innovative approaches. All this will create a completely new learning environment for our teachers and students. We remain aware that our journey ahead will be challenging, but the results will exceed our expectations,” said Zhanna Andreasyan.
Generation AI aspires to build an educational pipeline in Armenia for future researchers and innovators in artificial intelligence starting from the school level. Sixteen high schools from 6 different regions and Yerevan will execute the Generation AI: high school pilot program beginning in September 2023. The program will involve at least 250 high school students in the 2023-2024 school year.
“Considering the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence across the globe and our aspirations to establish Armenia prominently on the international AI landscape, we have committed to implementing this project with our partners. Generation AI strives to empower our children and our nation to compete on the global stage. We hold the conviction that the program will succeed and be accessible across all educational institutions of Armenia, thereby fostering a transformative shift of the country,” said Armen Orujyan, Founding CEO of FAST.
Suzanna Shamakhyan, Vice President of Strategic Programming at FAST, presented the program’s details and the steps through which diverse stakeholders can contribute to the success of the program and prepare the foundation for the national scale up of this globally competitive educational opportunity to more regions of Armenia. She noted that within the effective implementation of the program, the Foundation visits different regions of Armenia, engaging with school administrators, educators, parents, children, and the local industrial community.
The program has been developed through large-scale collaboration between local and diaspora expert groups. Arnak Dalalyan, the Director of the Center of Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) of Polytechnic Institute of Paris, and Alice Petrossian, a lifelong educator, the former president of the California School Administrators Association, as advisors of the Generation AI program, highlighted the importance of the project in the development of the scientific and educational ecosystem of Armenia, and emphasized the role of consolidating expertise and efforts of various individuals and organization.
At the end of the event, the schools received official certification as implementers of the Generation AI high school pilot project.
Students will be engaged in advanced mathematics, Python-based programming, and Artificial Intelligence modules through both basic and advanced curricula. During the 12th grade, they will undertake various AI projects to gain practical experience with either industry-led or research-based projects. The program’s primary objective is to provide foundational knowledge and professional guidance, fostering greater interest in the career of AI researchers and promoting further education in this domain. More so, the math education planned within the program will create a strong base for other specializations, such as cybersecurity, robotics, engineering, etc. The Advance Armenia Global Campaign implemented by FAST supports Generation AI program.