Spend much time listening to Silicon Alley types talk about their fair city, and it won’t be before you hear someone issue a lament on behalf of the children—specifically, the quality of the math and science education they’re getting. Indeed, teaching tech skills in the public schools is among the most popular political proposals that the New York Tech Meetup suggested last month, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vision for New York as a center of innovation is rarely far off from a new plan to offer a 21st century education. Read More
All students at Stuyvesant High School are required to take an introductory computer science course during sophomore year. Mike Zamansky, the coordinator of Stuyvesant’s bleeding-edge computer science program and a consultant on the city’s new high school tech campus, cold-emailed experts at Google and the University of California, Berkeley while writing it. “It’s a very well-designed course,” he told Betabeat by phone this morning. “We know not every one is going to be a computer scientist. But how can you give an overview and inspire the ones that should go into tech, to go into tech, and at the same time give other kids—the 80 percent of the kids, let’s say, who are not meant to go into tech—something valuable?”
The exhaustive design of the intro class is just one example of how Mr. Zamansky has been building one of the country’s most rigorious high school computer science programs for the past 15 years. Although the program is still the “illegitimate child of the math department,” as Mr. Zamansky put it, there are seven teachers, three of whom teach a full CS courseload, and more than 270 students.
But the program is bumping into obstacles at the high school, where he has limited resources, he said. Recently the program had to cut one of its senior level courses from three sections to two, and there are regularly more kids interested in the program than can be accommodated, he said.
So Mr. Zamansky decided to get the alumni involved. Read More
Cradlerobbing: Peter Thiel Presents 24 Youngsters Who Will Probably Make You Feel Bad About Yourself
Who was it who made the analogy between entrepreneurs and football players?
Peter Thiel just scooped up 22 boys and two girls under the age of 20 for a two-year fellowship at the Thiel Foundation, where the famous Facebook investors network of mentors will help them build things the world has never seen.
“Andrew Hsu started doing research in a pathology lab when he was 10. By the time he was 12, he had matriculated at the University of Washington.” Read More