A few months ago, I came across a mention of a CS high school opening in NYC: New York City gets a Software Engineering High School.
I think this is a brilliant idea. High school (and, honestly, even earlier, in middle school) is the ideal time to learn programming. (I lucked into an AP Computer Science class early on in highschool, and it changed my life. I've always been interested in computers, but I changed my college plans from pre-med to comp sci right then and there).
I wonder how they'll structure their curriculum?
(My next thought, of course, was: Now we need one of those here in Portland, ME!)
Last weekend, at an Easter party (with a small horde of actual kids! hunting for eggs!), I met a guy who studied learning psychology (and apparently helped translate a book on the subject by a famous Russian academic. I lost the title, but he said he'd lend me the book).
Anyways, he pointed me towards a very interesting project: the Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, a tech charter school opening right here in Portland ME (down the street from the ferry, actually)!
This is very interesting and promising, and I hope they include a healthy dose of computer science in their curriculum.
The other day, on a Ruby user group mailing list, somebody mentioned that they have a bunch of tech books to donate, and they'd prefer to give it to a charity or an educational organization. There were several suggestions (a public library, an underfunded tech college).
But one I thought was very interesting: the MOUSE.org project.
MOUSE seems to be a set of programs to help high school students learn leadership and tech skills, centering around a student-run Help Desk (which, in addition, helps the school save on technology costs).
Again, very interesting, I'm going to file this on here in case I have a chance to introduce something similar here in Portland.