Unit Overview

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming more prominent in our everyday lives. For example, the use of voice-assistants like Amazon Alexa is growing increasingly popular as they make our lives easier and our homes smarter. You'll learn how AI involves using and manipulating data. But, what happens in space - thousands of miles from Earth? How can astronauts and others traveling in space use Alexa? Amazon has built an Alexa model that can work in space - on possible missions to the moon! Amazon Future Engineers and Mobile CSP have partnered to develop a space-themed unit on programming Alexa skills that will benefit people traveling in space.

In this unit, you will explore the question of: How can inexperienced space travelers, such as tourists and those with little training in space travel, accomplish everyday tasks while experiencing gravitational environments different from the Earth (i.e., microgravity on the International Space Station)? You will learn about computer science concepts such as lists, procedures, and variables. You will write code using MIT’s App Inventor to program Amazon Alexa to help answer questions and perform important tasks in space. After completing the unit, you will be invited to participate in a Space Travel Challenge in May 2022. The CS Principles lessons focus on the concept of Big Data and its growing impact on our lives. You will be introduced to some of the algorithms needed to process massive datasets efficiently.

Technical Terms

Below is a table of all of the technical terms that you'll learn in this unit. You will find a vocabulary section similar to this at the end of each lesson. Hover over the terms to review the definitions. You'll be able to practice your knowledge of the vocabulary with a quizlet at the end of the unit.
Computer Science Principles
creative commons
machine learning
open access
General Computing
artificial intelligence (AI)
CSV files
deep learning
fair use
neural network
speech recognition
wake word


Q-1: Identify 1-2 vocabulary terms from the table above that you know and define them in your own words. If you don’t know any of these words yet, that’s ok! Instead, write 1-2 sentences on how you plan to practice learning the vocabulary for this unit.

Q-2: Identify 1-2 vocabulary terms from the table above that you have heard before but don’t know the definition for.

Q-3: Identify 1-2 vocabulary terms from the table above that you don’t know but want to learn in this unit.

Reflection: For Your Portfolio

Answer the following portfolio reflection questions as directed by your instructor. Questions are also available in this Google Doc - you will be prompted to make your own editable copy.