"Software engineering" has a loftier sound than "teaching kids to code", though you'd be splitting hairs by distinguishing the two in the NYC public schools that are part of the NYC DoE's Software Engineering Pilot. The 18 middle and high schools that deliver the SEP curriculum have diverse student populations and are spread out all over the city. The course of study starts with Scratch and Lego robotics and goes all the way up to Python, databases and server side dynamic web publishing.
I was busy through August of 2014 contributing to the upper level curriculum in several SEP units including Spreadsheets and Databases and Server Side Programming as well as training teachers to use it all. I'm especially proud of everything I poured into the Python Programming unit. While I'd never call myself a programmer, I do love Python deeply and did my best to make the plans and activities in the curriculum engaging, fun and inspiring. We weren't able to work in any fiction (the participating schools have enough of a job carving out free minutes to get the kids in front of the hardware), but hopefully as the Python portion of the curriculum launches this month, everyone will benefit from the human metaphors and real world connections I tried to build in as deeply as possible.
Bravo to SEP for bringing a hands-on digital education to all kinds of NYC kids!