ReadyAI – Middle School

Demonstration Lesson: Introduction to AI

Essential Question

What can you do with AI-IN-A-BOX™?


The ReadyAI program focuses on learning AI through creating a project. So, it is important that students understand the AI capabilities of the tools. As a demonstration, this lesson allows the teacher and the students to explore and experiment with real AI technologies available through AI-IN-A-BOX™. By identifying and programming basic AI functions, the students will be able to brainstorm the applications of AI. Teachers may select from the appropriate assessments, which may range from discussion to an objective summative assessment. This lesson also includes optional activities that can extend the basic introduction lesson for an additional 30-60 minutes. Note: This is not meant to be the beginning of a curriculum. Rather, it is meant to be a stand-alone opportunity to familiarize students with AI technology using AI-IN-A-BOX™.



Demonstration of Learning: students can program basic functions of Cozmo

Classroom Discussion: student-generated ideas of AI applications

Oral Responses: students can explain how they might use AI

Written Responses:

  • Students create a brainstorming map (see Handout 0.1)
  • Students complete a formative worksheet (see Handout 0.2)
  • Students complete a summative mastery quiz (see Handout 0.3)


Students will be able to

  • Contrast AI from robotics
  • Identify the components of an AI-IN-A-BOX™
  • Program and execute basic AI functions
  • Experiment with AI functionality
  • Brainstorming AI applications

Tools and Materials

Connecting to Prior Knowledge

What is a robot?

If you have any question about the lesson plan, please contact

Teaching Guide

Warm-up (10 minutes)

Teacher begin class by asking, “What is a robot?”

  • If whiteboard is available, teacher may add student ideas to a mind map such as

Teacher then uses the PowerPoint to show two contrasting videos to encourage student enthusiasm:

The teacher then shows the second video.

Teacher may differentiate between robots completing tasks and AI making decisions.

Teacher resources:

For an explanation as to the differences between AI and robots, see Teacher Resources 0.1

Demonstration Lesson PowerPoint

Check for understanding:

What did the AI in the car do that the factory robots producing cars could not do?


What makes Cozmo more than just a robot?

Teacher Presentation (15 minutes)

Note: When possible, students can see what Cozmo sees more clearly if the laptop is set up to a projector.

1. Teacher introduces Cozmo

  • Teacher identifies Cozmo’s parts
    • Treads
    • Lift
    • Camera and Head

2. Teacher then asks, “How do we wake Cozmo up?”

3. Teacher introduces AI-IN-A-BOX™ and how to connect the components

  • Teacher identifies AI-IN-A-BOX™ parts
    • Fire 7 Table
    • Controller
    • Cozmo’s charger
    • Quick Start Guide

4. Teacher says, “Now that I have the components set up, what can I do with Cozmo?”

  • Teacher demonstrates Cozmo’s basic functions, programming and executing them
    • Teacher demonstrates facial recognition. (Teacher Resources 0.2)
      • Teacher may also demonstrate facial recognition on a student
      • Teacher also discusses functionality of facial recognition (i.e. box around face, items he does not recognize)
  • Teacher asks, “What else does Cozmo recognize?” (Teacher Resources 0.3)
    • Teacher holds items up in front of Cozmo. Teacher points out that a box surrounds each item he recognizes. Teacher demonstrates object recognition.
    • Teacher may ask students to present items items to Cozmo to see if he recognizes them.
  • Teacher asks, “Once Cozmo recognizes a person or an object, what can he do with it?”

Teacher resources:

For walkthroughs on programming the functionality of Cozmo, reference Teacher Resources 0.2-6.

Check for understanding:

What five AI functions did we see Cozmo demonstrate?


Do you want to program Cozmo to do what you want?

Guided Practice (20 minutes)

Teacher distributes Handout 0.2. Teacher asks students to check off items they can complete from the list.
Alternatively, teacher may orally prompt students to complete tasks.

Teacher also prompts students to add new items to Handout 0.2 in the blank spaces, indicating what further applications they attempted with Cozmo.
Alternatively, teacher may ask students at the end of the guided practice to indicate what further applications they attempted with Cozmo.

After approximately 15 minutes, or as needed, teacher asks students to pack up AI-IN-A-BOX™.

Optional activities & resources:

To prompt student idea generation, please see the teacher guide found in Teacher Resources 0.7.

Lesson Extension:

  1. (15-20 Minutes) As an additional activity, the teacher may prompt students to drive Cozmo using the controller. For resources on this functionality, please see Teacher Resources 0.8.
  2. (5 Minutes) Teacher may use videos from Ready AI’s YouTube page to demonstrate functionality:

Teacher resources:

Check for understanding:

Using a whiteboard or orally, the teacher asks students to fill in the blank with the following command phrases:

If I wanted Cozmo to say, “Hello Human” when he sees a person, I would program

When SEE _Face_, _Say_, “Hello Human.”


Now that you have identified and mastered various functions of Cozmo, we are going to think big picture and imagine real world uses for these functions.

Student Production (10 minutes)

To begin a student production section, the teacher shows the following video:

Teacher then says, “Can you imagine the cubes are dog waste and Cozmo picks them up for you?”

Teacher then says, “However, AI has much more important uses in the world. I want you to brainstorm problems that AI can help solve.”

Teacher provides approximately 8 minutes for students to brainstorm their ideas and document them using Handout 0.1.

Optional activities & materials:

  1. (10-15 Minutes) With multiple AI-IN-A-BOX™ sets, a teacher can encourage competition to pick up a cube before the other students.

Teacher says that the first group to set up kit and complete survey to completion will win a prize. (Teacher may determine an appropriate prize for motivation, i.e. stickers, badges on the AI Passport bonus points, candy, etc.)

  1. If laptops or computers are available, students may use a digital tool to brainstorm instead of using Handout 0.1. Appropriate software might include
  2. After the brainstorming session, the teacher may provide the following videos as examples of projects that students produced. If teacher chooses to apply Lesson Extension #2, teacher may ask students what they need in order to produce said project idea(s).

WAICY 2018 Winning Team Project – Team 25C “Baking Companion”

Lesson Extension:

  1. Students present all their ideas to the class.
  2. For longer classes, teacher may present students with arts and crafts objects and encourage students to begin crafting their best project ideas.

Check for understanding:

Students can generate 3-5 AI applications and (if teacher chooses) orally present them.


Teacher may assign summative assessment (Handout 0.3) or ask students to submit brainstorming work.

Cool Down (5 minutes)

Teacher asks for input from students. Teacher asks such questions as, “What did you learn?” “What would you like to learn?”

Optional activities & materials:

If teacher chooses, he or she may use the quiz (Handout 0.3) to assess student learning.

Check for understanding:

Have students share their thoughts on AI approachability and functionality.