Montour School District saw the opportunity to teach for the future, preparing students for careers and life by launching America’s first Artificial Intelligence Middle School program in the fall of 2018.
Dominic Salpeck, principal and Bill Black, STEM teacher at David E. Williams Middle School share their experiences and insights, highlighting the why and how it came to fruition framed by the conclusion their district came to—not asking themselves “if they should teach AI, but rather, what if we don’t teach AI?”

Skip to: 01:30 How did the idea for Montour AI at David E. Williams Middle School come about?
Skip to: 04:30 Can you describe the space where students take part in the AI program?
Skip to: 05:41 When do students take part in the AI program?
Skip to: 06:59 Why do you think artificial intelligence is such an important skill for students to learn?
Skip to: 08:32 What are some examples of projects students have worked on at the center?
Skip to: 12:48 Can you tell us about the Carnegie Mellon University partnership?
Skip to: 14:48 How have you funded the Montour AI project?
Skip to: 16:23 Last year the school hosted the World Artificial Intelligence Regional Competition for Youth. Can you talk about that competition?

July 27th in Alleghany county will now be considered National AI Day.

Mr. Bill Black

Mr. Black is in his 18th year of teaching overall and 8th year teaching in the STEM position at David E. William Middle School in the Montour School District. Mr. Black is a Project Lead The Way certified K-8 teacher with certifications in the Launch and Gateway To Technology Programs. He also has his level II certification with artificial intelligence through a local leading AI education company called Ready AI. Mr. Black brings AI to the students utilizing Anki’s Cozmo Robot and Dr. David Touretzky’s calypso programming tool. Mr. Black teaches a wide variety of skills from building VEX Robots with 5th graders, solving everyday problems with 6th grade utilizing the design process and solving worldly problems through AI on a small scale with his 7th and 8th graders.

Mr. Dominic Salpeck

Mr. Salpeck began his career in public education in January of 2001 as a social studies teacher at Sto-Rox Middle School/ Sto-Rox High School. In November of 2008, Dominic was hired as a principal at David E. Williams Middle School in the Montour School District. His passion for education includes action planning, progress monitoring, challenging students/ staff/ self to grow, and positive school culture supported by effective discipline.