A person with a red t-shirt and dark brown hair looking away from the camera, with their arms propped on the top of a black railing.
MozFest 2019 | Photo by Connor Ballard-Pateman

Has your child ever accidentally bought a zoo and had no clue what to feed the animal?

It happens to the best of us. Well this year the Youth Zone is very excited to announce that we’ve commissioned an AI-themed interactive learning experience built around the power of Minecraft’s Education edition, that will give them the responsibility of fixing a Zoo’s new “AI Powered Food Recommendation engine”. They’ll get the chance to “Be the AI” and get to grips with how these systems work and where their power and pitfalls lie. Sound like something your child would be interested in? Or can you just hear the hungry sounds of a Capybara colony at the door? In either case, read on to find out more!

Who is running this session?

The Youth Zone is Mozilla Festival’s home for young people. We run sessions specifically aimed towards young people, and we have a proud history specifically of youth-led sessions where Facilitators as young as eight have stood in front of a room full of people and run workshops about subjects that they are passionate about.

For nearly a decade we’ve been running sessions on programming, building robots, Cosplay, and much more. With the pandemic however, and everything moving online we’ve been missing some of that interactive,creative and - most importantly- fun spark that made the space such a uniquely joyful place to be a part of. We want to inject some of that back into MozFest, and Minecraft is the perfect platform to do that. Enjoyed by millions of people the world over, it's a game with creativity and a sense of Fun at its heart.

We’ve commissioned Causeway Digital to build this experience. Formed from previous Youth Zone organizers and participants, and partnered with Microsoft, they produce educational Minecraft content that has been played by hundreds of thousands of students across the world.

What will students be doing during this session?

Students will be introduced to an AI that’s performing badly. By stepping into its shoes they will get a chance to try out the principles of Training an AI, see the power of these algorithms, and learn how Bias and lack of care can have real (and potentially dangerous) impacts. This is then a great jumping off point into group discussions around AI and Technology in the modern world.

How can I get my class (or my child) involved?

If you’re a teacher or educator:

  • Check that your school/organization has access to Minecraft Education Edition- this is best directed towards an IT administrator for your organization, but a good rule of thumb is that if your organization is using the educational Edition of Office 365/Microsoft Teams then the license will have bundled this in as well
  • Sign up using this link
  • When the content is ready we’ll send it out to you with instructions on how to get it set up and running for your class

If you’re a parent:

  • The best way to experience the world is using the Educational Edition of Minecraft.
  • Unfortunately this is largely only purchasable by schools and educational institutions.
  • Fortunately, there’s a good chance that your child’s school will already have some licensing agreement in place- speak to your child’s teacher and let them know how interested you are in your child getting involved.

Why should I sign up for this?

This session will be a great opportunity to introduce students to Artificial Intelligence, which has been dominating the news over the past year with the release of chatbot systems like ChatGPT and image generation tools like StableDiffusion.

The content of this session will also cover a number of CSTA standards, including 1A-IC-16, 1B-IC-18, 2-IC-21, and 3A-IC-25

Where will this be taking place?

Wherever you are! This is a digital experience, and the beauty of this is that it can happen wherever or whenever suits you and your students. Run it in a school lesson, an after school club, or as a whole school activity.

When can I get involved?

Sign up here and we’ll be in touch with you soon with more details about how to get the content and run it. The content will be officially released during MozFest, the week of 20th - 24th March, 2023, and we’ll be running an Official Kick-off session on Monday.

MozFest is part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world. To learn more, visit www.mozillafestival.org.

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