Getting Started with Your AI Club

Congratulations on your interest in starting an AI Club at your school! 

AI is rapidly changing every facet of our lives. Each week, new AI technologies are being released — and new revelations about AI emerge. It’s well known that the future of work is a world where AI-empowered humans replace those who are AI-illiterate

Inspired by discussions with the Hawaii Center for AI, I created this guide for high school students interested in creating an AI Club. The hope is to empower students to bring AI education to themselves and their classmates, even if their schools are cautiously slow to adopt and adapt to AI. 

This guide will walk you through the key steps to get your AI Club up and running.

Let’s get you started on your AI Club journey!

What is AI? 

AI (artificial intelligence) is a rapidly advancing technology that involves developing intelligent systems and algorithms capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks include learning, problem solving, reasoning, perception, and decision making. AI systems can process vast amounts of data, recognize patterns, and make predictions or recommendations based on that data. 

Some key areas within AI include: 

  • Machine Learning: Algorithms that allow systems to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.
  • Deep Learning: A subset of machine learning inspired by the brain’s neural networks, enabling systems to learn from data in a hierarchical, layered manner.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): The ability of AI systems to understand, interpret, and generate human language.
  • Computer Vision: AI techniques that enable systems to interpret and understand digital images and videos.
  • Robotics: The combination of AI and robotics to create intelligent machines capable of performing tasks autonomously.

AI is being applied in nearly every field, including healthcare, finance, hospitality, transportation, real estate, education, energy, sports, fashion, agriculture, food, and entertainment. It is also being applied to nearly every job function, including marketing and sales, accounting and finance, HR, logistics and sourcing, manufacturing, and customer service.  

The impact of AI is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. 

While AI is expected to have enormous benefits, there are also many ethical issues surrounding AI, including privacy, bias, and transparency. Every AI Club should explore these ethical issues to ensure responsible use and development of AI. 

In other words, AI will impact all of us in ways we can’t predict. Some are calling this the Age of AI; others are calling this the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Whatever you call it, you can be sure life will look very different in even a few years. 

Why start an AI Club?

An AI Club can ignite curiosity and passion for AI in students — creating a community eager to explore all that this technology has to offer. But there are many more reasons to start an AI Club. Here are a few:

Launch your future

As AI continues to transform industries and jobs, lifelong learning becomes imperative — and understanding AI gives students a competitive edge in pursuing future academic and professional opportunities. Whether students choose to gain basic AI literacy and applications or delve deeper into building AI, an AI Club is a great way for students to get early exposure to this rapidly changing field. 

Position your school for innovation

Establishing an AI Club positions your school as a leader in embracing cutting-edge technologies and providing students with relevant, future-ready skills and experiences. It demonstrates a commitment to preparing students for the future while nurturing their innovative spirit. 

Be a leader on campus 

Starting an AI Club on campus offers students the opportunity to take on leadership roles within their school community. By founding and leading the AI Club, students can:

  • Develop valuable leadership, organizational, and project management skills
  • Gain experience in coordinating events, activities, and initiatives
  • Build confidence in public speaking and communication
  • Foster a sense of responsibility and ownership
  • Inspire and mentor their peers in the field of AI
  • Leave a lasting impact on their school’s educational offerings

As student leaders of the AI Club, members of the executive team and project leads will have the chance to showcase their passion, creativity, and drive. They will play a pivotal role in shaping the club’s direction, promoting its activities, and ensuring its success.

Moreover, by taking the initiative to establish an AI Club, student leaders will demonstrate their commitment to personal growth, innovation, and making a positive difference within their school community. This experience can be a valuable addition to college applications, resumes, and future endeavors — showcasing your ability to take on challenging tasks and bring ideas to fruition.

Examples of AI Club Activities

An AI Club can engage in a wide range of activities to cater to different interests, skill levels, and learning styles. Here are some examples: 

Invite guest speakers

Invite guest speakers from the AI industry or AI researchers to share their expertise and insights with your AI Club. Ask local business leaders who have adopted AI to share their stories. Guest speakers can provide real-world perspectives, discuss emerging trends, and inspire students to imagine and create their own futures. 

Build projects

Hands-on projects are a great way to develop practical AI skills. Basic projects can start with using generative AI to create images, music, or other content. AI Club students who want to go deeper can create chat bots, image recognition systems, recommendation engines, or other AI-powered applications. These projects are a great way to reinforce learning while also fostering teamwork and building problem solving skills.

Collaborate with other clubs

Consider collaborating with other student clubs and organizations on campus. For example, the AI Club could team up with the robotics club to develop intelligent robots, the environmental club to work on AI-driven solutions for sustainability issues, or a sports team to analyze statistics. 

Organize workshops and tutorials

AI Clubs can also conduct workshops and tutorials on AI topics and skills. These sessions can be led by club members, faculty advisors, or invited experts. 

Explore ethical implications

The ethical issues of AI — and the importance of ethical responsibility in the age of AI — cannot be overstated. AI Clubs should facilitate discussions and debates around the ethical considerations of AI, including data privacy, bias, transparency, and the responsible development and deployment of AI. These conversations will help nurture a mindset of ethical responsibility among club members. 

Are you ready to start your club? Here’s how to get your AI Club up and running.

1. Build Your AI Club Core Team

The first step in starting your AI Club is to find a few passionate students who can form the founding core team for the club. Identify classmates interested in AI, entrepreneurship, computer science, math, or related fields. A team of 3-5 committed students is a great start.

2. Find an AI Club Teacher Advisor

Most schools require an official teacher or faculty advisor for new clubs. Approach computer science teachers, STEM coordinators, or other teachers who may be interested in advising your AI Club. Their support and guidance will be invaluable.

3. Draft a Club Proposal for the AI Club

Create a detailed proposal outlining the rationale, objectives, planned activities, and potential benefits of starting an AI Club. This will help you get approval from the school administration. Include:

  • Mission and goals of the AI Club
  • Proposed club structure and leadership roles
  • Tentative calendar of meetings/events
  • Estimated budget and funding needs
  • How the AI Club aligns with the school’s mission

Click here to get an AI Club Proposal template and an AI Club Proposal example.

4. Get Official Approval for the AI Club

Getting official recognition is crucial for accessing resources, facilities, and funding. Submit your club proposal to the appropriate school authorities (principal, student council, etc.) for review and approval. Be prepared to present your case and address any concerns about the AI Club. There may be concerns that an AI Club will encourage students to use generative AI to cheat; reassure them that all research shows that AI has not increased cheating

5. Recruit Members for the AI Club

Once approved, it’s time to spread the word and recruit members! Create flyers, make announcements, and leverage social media to promote the new AI Club. Highlight the opportunities to learn, build projects, explore cutting-edge technology — and prepare for work of the future. 

6. Plan the AI Club’s First Meeting

Prepare an agenda for your first AI Club meeting. This could include:

  • Introducing the AI Club’s mission and leadership team
  • Discussing potential projects, activities, and learning goals for the AI Club
  • Gathering input and ideas from AI Club members
  • Establishing AI Club guidelines, roles, and responsibilities

7. Set Up Infrastructure for the AI Club

Depending on your AI Club’s needs and resources, set up any required infrastructure. This may include:

  • Creating an AI Club website or online presence
  • Setting up communication channels (email, messaging apps) for the AI Club
  • Securing access to computer labs or workspaces for the AI Club
  • Installing required software and libraries

8. Develop a Learning Plan

Based on curricula created by others, work with your teacher advisor and core team to develop a customized learning plan for the AI Club. 

This could involve:

  • Choosing focus areas within AI (machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, etc.)
  • Choosing a specific area of interest (AI for Social Good, Ethical AI, AI for Art, AI for Entrepreneurship, AI Literacy, Learn AI, etc.)
  • Curating AI educational resources (online courses, tutorials, books)
  • Planning hands-on AI projects and coding activities
  • Inviting AI guest speakers or industry professionals

Click here for more learning resources and project ideas for your AI Club.

9. Fundraising and Budgeting for the AI Club

Determine your AI Club’s financial needs for resources, materials, events, or competitions. Explore fundraising opportunities, sponsorships, or funding from your school. Consider looking for grants from outside organizations that are interested in helping prepare students for the future. Develop a budget plan to ensure responsible use of funds.

10. Foster a Collaborative Community for the AI Club

Encourage a culture of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and inclusivity within your AI Club. Facilitate discussions, peer learning, and teamwork on projects. Embrace diverse perspectives and backgrounds to enrich your AI Club’s explorations.

Get your AI Club started

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly reshaping our world and its influence will continue to grow. By starting an AI Club at your school, you put yourself at the forefront of this technological revolution. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to thrive in an AI-powered future, alongside a passionate community of like-minded peers.

From understanding the fundamentals of AI to navigating the logistics of club establishment, planning activities, and fostering a collaborative community, you have the tools to turn your vision into reality.

Remember, the true magic of an AI Club lies in its members’ passion, creativity, and dedication. Here, you’ll explore AI, collaborate with inspiring individuals, and push the boundaries of what’s achievable. Remember, AI development comes with ethical considerations. Strive to make your club a champion for responsible and inclusive practices. Your work today shapes the future of AI and its impact on the world.

Ready to take the first step? Gather your friends, assemble your team, and establish an AI Club that will inspire innovation, cultivate critical thinking, and leave a lasting legacy at your school.

The future of AI is in your hands. Embrace the challenge, lead the charge, and be a driving force in shaping tomorrow.

Start your AI Club today!