AFSE Open House This Morning

I am not doing a regular post today because I am spending the morning helping to recruit eighth graders to attend The Academy for Software Engineering next fall

This is our second class for AFSE and this year we get to recruit in the fall alongside all the other high schools. Plus we get to do the open houses in our own school, which did not exist last year.

It is a great feeling to see an idea turn into a reality and then grow from there.

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. Dave Pinsen

    Congrats on your second year. Hard to believe you need to recruit for it though. I would have figured kids would be swarming to get in.

    1. leigh

      grade 8 is a tough age to engage but those that do are usually super stars.

    2. fredwilson

      recruiting is all about getting the best kids for the school. it’s open to everyone. so we need to go out and get the best fits to make it their top choice. that’s how the unscreened school model works in NYC

      1. Dave Pinsen

        “Unscreened” — does that mean there isn’t a competitive entrance exam, as with Bronx Science or Stuyvesant?

        1. fredwilson

          ExactlyThose kids can get access to CS classesAFSE is all about the kids who are deeply interested in CS but can’t get into the elite schools because of reasons like ESL or parents who dont/won’t invest in test prep

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Have you had any issues with kids in the first class not being able to handle the material?My sister teaches in a junior high in upper Manhattan. I’ll tell her she should let her students know about your AFSE.

          2. fredwilson

            Yes and no. Its a struggle for many but we have small class sizes and great teachers

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Maybe in a few years, USV will get a chance to back a few of these kids.

  2. William Mougayar

    What’s the process of recruiting like? Are you competing against other regular high-schools?

    1. fredwilson

      yes, we compete with hundreds of other options they have. we have a booth at the high school fair. and then we do open houses at the school.

  3. takingpitches

    Congrats! (sounds likes a great AVC post to me)!

  4. Luke Chamberlin

    Hint: tell them they can use programming skills to make their own video games.That’s what got me started when I was in middle school.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s part of my elevator pitch!

  5. JimHirshfield

    Music seems to be a big passion that emerges at this age. Convergence of software and music as part of the recruitment story likely to trigger interest.

    1. fredwilson

      i spent much of the downtime between sessions talking music with the 9th graders who were helping out at the open house. here’s a photo i took of the 9th graders. i had so much fun with them yesterday…

      1. JimHirshfield


  6. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    you are slacking off Fred 🙂 good luck chatting with the 8th graders!

  7. Mark Essel

    Couldn’t resist the challenge of recruiting and inspiring younger minds in person, well good for you. Have a great weekend. Now that i’ve squashed an HLS bug, it’s time to catch up on the fun Ruby Bits tutorial http://rubybits2.codeschool

  8. David Lin

    Good work, training the new generation.

  9. Lee Blaylock

    Great stuff Fred, very worthy cause. If you’ve never heard of National Math and Science Foundation, you might want to know about it. http://www.nationalmathands… Exxon put $125mm into it and it is working to improve STEM education in public schools. Started by some friends of mine and merged with Laying The Foundation in 2011 which is a teacher education non profit.BTW, the power couple of education is Richard Barth, CEO of KIPP Academy (125 charter schools in inner cities and is 10% of the Houston, TX ISD) and Wendy Kopp who founded Teach for America. They’re married and live in NYC. She was a grade behind me in high school in Dallas. Both are having an amazing impact on primary education.I’d be happy to make an intro to either if interested. Keep up the good work! We have a long way to go with STEM education in primary schools. We need more engineers!

    1. Richard

      Hi Lee – Can i contact you directly about this?

      1. Lee Blaylock

        lblaylock at whoat dot net. send me a note and i’ll send you my cell

    2. fredwilson

      i have met Wendy before. i am not sure if i have met Richard. but i agree. they sure are a power couple

    3. panterosa,

      I would love to send on my app when it releases shortly. It’s a big idea to change nature education.

      1. Lee Blaylock

        happy to help any entrepreneur working to make the world a better place. contact me.

  10. David Petersen

    My dad taught me to program when I was in the 7th grade. It’s so much like a second language to me now that it is very hard for me to understand (intuitively, not logically) when people have trouble with programming concepts.I guess what I’m saying is: It’s good to start young.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. exactly.

  11. laurie kalmanson

    #becauseawesome this is the future. thank you. i had coffee with a code academy style founder the other day, whose position is that software languages should be taught in early education like spanish, french; he’s right.

  12. Richard

    8th grade,,,remember to move the fences in.

  13. ShanaC

    So, nu, what happened 🙂

  14. Prokofy

    I love this idea, it’s the perfect thing for our time. My son was in the Cisco course at Chelsea HS and it seemed to be one of the few in the city. Ironically, I came to poke around this site just now to see if I could see any people in the comments to ask — My question is this: after high school, where next if you want to learn computer repair or network administration or programming? The problem is that if you go to a classic form of college like CUNY or Baruch, it takes forever, and it is costly, even with some aid provided, but you still end up in debt taking forever. The tech institutes that are advertised all over the subways seem so unreliable — I know people who have paid them a lot of money “for a career” but they never really get you the job promised. So what to do? You can’t just watch Khan videos because employers or customers you might find want credentials. Where can you go? What is your advice? For the next step. My son is literally going to his friends who got into NYU and asking if he can be their apprentice as they moonlight and fix people’s computers — NYU is just out of reach in so many ways.

    1. fredwilson

      i am thinking a two year college. but you are right about the places promoted on the subways. i have heard good things about Bunker Hill Community College in the Boston metro area. i think something like that might be good for your son.

    2. BillSeitz

      If the goal is to get a job in a BigCo in those narrow non-programmer tech areas, I’d just take paid courses that lead to certification in the specific technologies that (big) companies hire on: Cisco and Microsoft. While working at a tech mill.

  15. Dave W Baldwin

    Good job to you and your team!

  16. Donna Brewington White

    Congratulations!So excited to “see” this iteration of the hacking education theme moving forward.The day before you posted this, I was at a presentation by the board of one of my kids’ schools — a “progressive” school — and heard for the first time the term “STEAM Education” — to include arts. Not surprising given the location adjacent to Malibu and that one of the founders is married to a well-known film director.As much as there seems to be a recognized connection between technology and the arts by some — especially at AVC — I was excited to see arts included on par with the more science and math oriented education. There is something exciting about this.Arts may not contribute as readily to our economic future, but somehow I sense that furthering the arts and nurturing future artists is an important element of our progress as a society and even the progress of technology and science — including some form of integration. Just intuition, I suppose.Any thoughts on STEAM education?

  17. Web Designing

    That’s a great Effort by your side, keep up the hard work !