In this aerial view over Gainesville, Century Tower rises from the center of the University of Florida campus, where faculty members have developed a curriculum on artificial intelligence now used by several school districts. [ University of Florida ]

A curriculum developed by the University of Florida to prepare high school students for a workforce that uses artificial intelligence is expanding to nine counties across the state, including Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas.

The three-year curriculum, called AI Foundations, includes four courses, the university announced in a news release Monday. It will be delivered starting this school year through the state’s Career and Technical Education programs and was used in three counties last year.

A course called “Artificial Intelligence in the World” will teach students to identify AI around them. Another, “Applications of Artificial Intelligence,” will focus on how AI can be used to solve problems and allow students to create their own AI systems. The course “Procedural Programming and Foundations of Machine Learning” will build on skills to develop AI applications, and allow students “to get an entry-level job or continue their education,” the news release said.

It said some students who participated in Osceola County last year received certification for Microsoft Azure AI, which is typically held by engineering and computer science students and professional adults.

Nancy Ruzycki, a professor at UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, helped develop the curriculum.

“We’ve been building out this supportive pipeline for AI and data science in the state of Florida with the ultimate goal of infusing AI throughout the state’s public school curriculum, from kindergarten through 12th grade,” she said in the release.

Ruzycki and her colleagues also developed summer boot camps to help train teachers to teach about AI. This summer, 150 teachers from 16 school districts participated.

Divya Kumar covers higher education for the Tampa Bay Times in partnership with Open Campus.

Higher education reporter for The Tampa Bay Times in partnership with Open Campus.