Taking Initiative: How Eddy J Started His Own AI Summer Camp at DCB

Dulwich College Beijing

Are you a student with a passion for teaching and a desire to fill a gap in your school's curriculum? Perhaps you've noticed a need for a certain programme or activity that isn't currently being offered. Well, take it from our Year 13 Eddy J, someone who's been there, done that.

In this piece, we'll explore how Eddy spent his last summer at DCB holding his own summer camp, AI @ DCB, for his younger peers, and how you can do the same.

AI summer camp poster

Recognising the Need

With the first year of his IB programme and his Year 12 school life almost at a close, coding fanatic and STEAM Prefect Eddy J was both impressed – and also slightly envious – of FutureTech, a new AI and machine-learning course that was about to be offered to students in DCB's Key Stage 3. “I really wished I was a few years younger!” Eddy shared when we first spoke about it. 

The course would, however, get some students so excited that they approached Eddy to ask if he could run a course over the summer to help them prepare for what promised to be an eye-opening innovative curriculum. “Some students reached out to me asking about the new hot thing in Computer Science – machine learning. FutureTech is something I strongly recommend to future iGCSE students as it’s a really great course teaching the basics of machine learning. But because of this course, there were students who wanted to get a head start before it began, and that’s why I organised this summer camp.”

With machine learning becoming increasingly relevant in the field of computer science, Eddy wanted to make the most out of his summer by using his skill set to teach a programme that would help his younger peers better understand AI. And while it’s a pity that he didn’t get to take part in the FutureTech course, he shared that putting the camp together was the next best thing. “I’m glad that I got to put my own course together and offer more hands-on learning experiences in this area to my community.”


What is AI @ DCB?

AI @ DCB is an online project-based summer camp that serves as an introduction to artificial intelligence and machine learning concepts for all students, no matter their level of familiarity with computer science. “It's basically explaining the concepts behind how AI, like autonomous vehicles, recognise things and how these algorithms make predictions. I wanted to get people excited about what makes these technologies intelligent by breaking down the math behind them and getting students to engage with the programming process of being able to create their own AIs." 


Designing the Curriculum 

Designing an effective curriculum was an exciting challenge for Eddy, as it involved breaking down complex concepts into digestible lessons and ensuring that all students, regardless of their starting level, could gain a deeper understanding. The curriculum was project-based, allowing students to engage directly with the material by creating their own AI models.

Recognising the benefits of both directed and self-learning, Eddy adopted a blended learning approach for AI @ DCB. This allowed students to learn the course material at their own pace, unaffected by the diverse range of skill levels of students in the course, while also providing opportunities for students to engage with their learning hands-on through activities and discussions facilitated by live video calls. This combination of live guidance and self-paced study ensured that students had a well-rounded learning experience.

From predicting housing prices to recognising hand-drawn numbers, the camp covered a range of practical applications of AI. “I broke down the process and explained what AI is doing and how it was making these decisions and predictions.”

The project was an opportunity to not only meet the demand for AI education but also to indulge Eddy's passion for teaching. “It was a great opportunity to think from the perspective of teachers on how to design an effective curriculum that has a syllabus that ensures that all students, no matter their starting level, can gain more understanding from it.”


Positive Feedback and Growth

AI @ DCB attracted over 20 students, all of whom provided positive feedback on their experience. While Eddy acknowledges that there were areas for improvement, such as refining the curriculum and delivery methods, the overall response was encouraging. Students reported feeling more confident in their understanding of AI concepts and expressed a desire to continue exploring the field further, especially those about to start FutureTech. 


Starting His Own Summer Camp

For students who aspire to start their own summer camp, Eddy’s best advice is to just take the initiative. In his case, there was a demand, and he saw this as an opportunity to share his love for Computer Science and teaching.

"Fortunately, DCB’s teachers are always more than open to sharing their advice about initiating academic opportunities and designing effective curriculums," he said. “Don't hesitate to reach out to your teachers and school administrators for support and guidance. They can provide valuable insights and help navigate the administrative aspects of launching a program. Additionally, don't be afraid to pitch your ideas and advocate for what you believe in. With determination and support, anything is possible.”

With the venue and times solved, Eddy turned to apps like Canva to design effective posters, which he shared was instrumental in the promotion of his program.

Starting your own summer camp may seem like a daunting task, but with the right attitude and support, it can be a rewarding experience. By recognising a need, seizing the opportunity, taking proactive steps to bring your vision to life and consulting with the experts, students can make a positive impact on our school community.

So go ahead, take that first step, and turn your passion into action just like Eddy did with AI @ DCB.