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Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE) is a Career and Technical Education high school with a focus on software engineering, including application development and programming. The four-year integrated curriculum involves project-based learning, and students work to solve real-world problems through the technology skills they develop. Students participate in internships with industry partners, exposing them to work environments and helping to build the non-academic skills that will allow them to succeed after high school.
While software engineering is the central focus of student interest at BASE, we believe that the skills students learn are means to an end rather than ends in themselves. Being ready for college or a career is in part about access: developing the cognitive skills and character traits necessary to succeed in a given "community" – the business world, the worlds of technology and art, or the halls of academia. Access, though, is only one component of successful engagement in college and careers: just as importantly, students must learn to participate critically in these communities, learning to recognize the values of each one through the way its members speak and act, and learn how to push back when they hear and see bias or injustice.
Teachers will help students learn to speak fluently the languages of school, including math, science, social studies and language arts; students will also learn the different languages of the world of software engineering, including coding, project development and entrepreneurship. As they join the ongoing conversations in each discipline, students will work collaboratively to hear and understand the values in each of those conversations, and to understand how those values influence the way each of the disciplines sees and interacts with the world.
In their senior year students will design and implement a project in the subject-area of their choice. They will identify a community issue with personal meaning for them, and, using the skills and ideas of software engineering and other disciplines, research and design a proposed solution to the issue.
Through creative problem-solving and by valuing student ownership of learning, this school calls on students to develop the skills necessary to move easily among the communities of the world, from the most common to the most elite, and at the same time to gain the critical perspective necessary to truly understand the ramifications of their words and actions.