Mind the Gap: Enhancing AI and STEM Accessibility in Rural Pennsylvania


As AI-powered tools like ChatGPT become more prevalent in various industries, it is important to develop a deeper understanding of how they work and their potential impact. There are many misconceptions about AI--often shaped by news and media, both positive and negative, which can lead to overreliance or mistrust. It is important to approach AI tools critically and understand their limitations and potential biases. As we prepare students for a future where AI plays a crucial role, it is vital for educators and policymakers to have a deep understanding of the implications and structures driving this technology. Additionally, academic understanding of computer science and AI is not always accessible to everyone, particularly those in rural areas. Research shows that rural students continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in STEM (Harris & Hodges, 2018). Persistent barriers to participation in STEM (i.e., access to resources, funding teachers, local implications & relevancy, outreach disparities) must be addressed to ensure equitable access to growing and in-demand jobs (Yettick et. al., 2014). Additional research is needed to understand how to address the interwoven and unique challenges that rural communities face. To ensure that we are preparing our future generations for success, we must work to increase accessibility and understanding of AI across all communities. This presentation discusses the outcomes of our community ChatGPT and AI workshop, teacher-centered AI educational materials, and student-facing classroom materials.

Author Information
Vishwas Mruthyunjaya, Carnegie Mellon University Alumni, United States
Rachel Burcin, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Catherine Evans, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
John M. Dolan, Carnegie Mellon University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Rural Education

This paper is part of the IICE2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Mruthyunjaya V., Burcin R., Evans C., & Dolan J. (2024) Mind the Gap: Enhancing AI and STEM Accessibility in Rural Pennsylvania ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2024.22
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2024.22

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon