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AI Summit Kicks Off Irvington’s Plans to Prepare Students for AI Revolution

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Contact: Jody Gottlieb,

AI Summit Kicks Off Irvington’s Plans to Prepare Students for AI Revolution
Irvington Public Schools leads collaborative regional projects with TIES (Teaching Institute for
Excellence in STEM) to transform outcomes for students and the future of work.

Irvington, NJ – [Dec. 13, 2023] – Irvington Public Schools is taking ambitious steps to prepare students for the
AI revolution by fostering connections to the real world and creating immersive learning experiences for the
entire school community.

Leveraging ESSER III federal dollars designed to support learning recovery from the pandemic, Irvington
Public Schools will collaborate with local businesses, higher education institutions, community-based
organizations, and other key leaders to create clear pathways for students to be future innovators,
problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and STEM leaders.

To launch the initiative, community, education and business leaders, local residents, elected members, staff,
and students are invited to join the AI Summit on January 13, 2024, from 10 a.m. – noon EST at Rita L. Owens
STEAM Academy in Irvington, NJ to explore the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on multiple sectors,
including education and industry. David Turner, the regional manager for energy and sustainability for
business-to-society programs at Siemens, will be the keynote speaker. Joining the panel are Gary Mann,
founder and CEO of JASFEL Analytics, a data analytics and integration company, Veda Shamsid-Deen,
co-founder and chief operating officer at ARConnex Inc., specializing in innovation, emerging technology, and
legal matters.

Others from local business and industry will participate in the AI Summit.

The AI Summit, open to all, will also feature an overview of Irvington’s plans for its AI immersion. The AI
immersion initiative, planned in close collaboration with TIES, will span the 2023-2024 academic year and
equip students with new skills and opportunities. Key features of the Irvington plan are:

  • The launch of an entrepreneurial Fab Lab and AI-equipped food truck for hands-on learning
    experiences. The AI-equipped food truck will include a robot that students will program to perform such
    tasks as taking orders and promoting menus. The AI Fab Lab will enable students to produce products
    to sell in school-sponsored stores and fairs.
  • The design and launch of a STEM Learning Ecosystem within the Irvington school district and
    surrounding communities.
  • The launch of a 22-week Saturday AI Academy for students districtwide, focusing on AI and other
    emerging technologies for students at four different schools.The introduction of an integrated plan to
    bring technology-powered adaptive solutions to support special education.

Superintendent Dr. April Vauss is championing this initiative as a positive outcome from pandemic challenges,
using federal funds to excite students about technology shaping the future workforce. The emphasis shifts from
pandemic recovery to a forward-thinking education model, preparing students for jobs that may not yet exist.
“This is an opportunity for us to make lemonade out of the lemons of the pandemic. We can leverage federal
funding to get our scholars excited about the technologies dominating the headlines and changing the future of
work,” said Dr. April Vauss, superintendent of Irvington Public Schools. “As part of this, our scholars will also
gain ground in traditional learning subjects, including math, science, and reading.”

STEM jobs are the fastest-growing, highest-paying careers globally, and Irvington’s plan is designed to equip
students with skill sets and mindsets to thrive in the future economy. With one-third of the nation’s current
businesses using AI and more expected to turn to it in the coming months and years, bringing the technology
to the Irvington community has enormous implications for revolutionizing the workforce and the local economy.
Focused on a brighter future for Irvington students, Irvington will connect students to workforce needs and
foster entrepreneurial skill sets and mindsets.

As part of its plan, Irvington will form a STEM Learning Ecosystem and apply to join the global STEM Learning
Ecosystems Community of Practice, comprising more than 111 communities operating across the globe. The
SLECoP is focused on improving STEM opportunities for all with strong connections to the workforce needs of
today and tomorrow.

About Irvington Public Schools
The mission of Irvington Public Schools is to inspire and guide students in critical thinking, creativity, and
responsible citizenship. With a focus on embracing diversity, the district encourages its more than 7,500
scholars to pursue their dreams with intention and purpose. For more information, visit Irvington Public

About TIES and The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice
With philanthropic support from some of the nation’s leading businesses and foundations, TIES and its STEM
Learning Ecosystems initiative has grown to encompass 111+ Ecosystems across the globe, including a strong
network of Ecosystems in New Jersey. While all Ecosystems work to improve STEM learning for all, no two
Ecosystems are exactly alike. TIES facilitates the design of Ecosystems and the sharing of learning among
them. Learn more at

Contact: Jody Gottlieb,

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