Bronx Academy for Software Engineering

New York City has the fastest-growing technology sector in the country. At Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE), a 4-year CTE high school opening in 2013, students receive four years of training in programming, software design and app development before most students are ever introduced to it. The curriculum across all disciplines calls on students to engage in creative, solution-oriented problem solving. All learning revolves around the context of community, and students’ senior projects will take on an issue that is directly related to a community they care about and use design thinking and software engineering to work toward a meaningful solution. Teachers work with every student to set academic goals in each class, and the Seminar (advisory) class helps students make connections across their academic classes, get to know each other and develop post-graduation plans.

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School Innovation

21st Century Skills

  • Problem Solving

Design Thinking

innovation description:

Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE) students are learning and applying design thinking principles and methods as they engage in completing design challenges. Forthcoming challenges will be aligned across grade levels and culminate in a senior capstone project.  The capstone project will  evidence mastery of target 21st century skills for all BASE students.  A core team of faculty and staff are documenting and developing guidelines to increase the proficiency of all teachers in the organizing and facilitating effective design challenges for their students. By the end of the 2016 school year, all teachers at BASE will know how to create and engage students in design challenges specific to their discipline while incorporating resources and expertise from BASE’s MakerSpace and industry partner, Beam Center.

Performance Tasks

  • Light & Code: Interactive Mapping of Historical Causal Relationships
  • The Great Web of Things

21st Century Skills

  • Personal Mindset
  • Planning for Success
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
Project Title: Light & Code: Interactive Mapping of Historical Causal Relationships
DRIVING QUESTION: How can I use coding and technology to better illustrate complex historical concepts and patterns?

In this project, students are going to be using their coding abilities to illustrate the movement of several historical movements and patterns (e.g the spread of the Bubonic Plague across Europe, the growth of Islam under the Abbasid Caliphate, etc). Together the freshman Global Studies class, with the assistance of the Beam Center, will be collaborating and problem solving using arduino boards and LED lights to create a historical visualization in conjunction with a powerpoint presentation. The purpose of the project is to take an interdisciplinary approach to content and to have students draw on their coding knowledge in order to supplement their learning in other classes. By familiarizing the students with this strategy, in the future we hope to create endless applications of this technology in our classrooms at BASE. For the purposes of this iteration, students will illustrate a causal relationship using light and code. Students will solder a flexible strand of up to ten colored LED lights and program the strand in order to illustrate one of five concepts that we have studied this year.   

Project Title: The Great Web of Things
DRIVING QUESTION: What tools can we use to better interact through literature?

In this project we will study intertextuality, or the great web of literature that connects across styles and genres. Students will take 1­3 sentences or lines out of a text. Students will write those lines onto a piece of canvas. Using electric paint, string, or other conductive surfaces/objects, students will accent and emphasize words that connect with other texts. Students will link the conductive surface/object to a line (read by student), sentence (typed by student), of scene (shown on Ipad) from another class text. When audience members/participants engage with each emphasized word and art exhibit, the linked material will play. Students will create interactive pieces that blend text, sound, and video. The purpose of our project is to learn that:

  • removing text from its original context enhances and/or changes its original meaning;
  • that literature is a web with an idea that rests in the middle and that language tethers texts together;
  • to learn that all acts of interpretation present a power relationship between author and reader;
  • and to learn that reading is an interactive, multidimensional experience.