MITEs Cube

Schools of Tomorrow

From Silicon Forest to Greater LA

Kirby Urner
4 min readSep 27, 2023

--

I purvey this profile of myself as localized in the Silicon Forest, where we often import talent versus hire it locally. One may do both, and parents of Iranian, Japanese or Russian descent (to choose an arbitrary representative few examples), with jobs in high tech at Intel or one of those, make sure their own offspring are advantaged by the latest in educational best practices. I’ve been a witness and contributor to this advantaging.

The cohort of 8th graders I worked with around the time of the pandemic, fully online and partially in person as the virus abated, was focused on competitive programming, which later in life turns into expertise required in coding and/or tech interviews. Check out Leetcode for what I’m talking about. Under the heading of competitive programming, find dynamic programming, and the many clever algorithms coming under that rubric.

Oh, so I’m talking about a computer science class? Yes and no, in that it’s somewhat spurious to tease apart mathematics and computer science at the 8th grade level. The goal should be to tease them together, making a hybrid or blend that we might liken to a signature coffee: what the Silicon Forest is known for, its Schools of Tomorrow.

However, I’ve been thinking outside the Silicon Forest box and wondering about more collaborations with Hollywood, and around Greater LA (Los Angeles). For example my sister works in the perfect preschool, in terms of being average and representative. How might the Silicon Forest get into a feedback loop in and around that area, with both the public (LAUSD) and the private academies?

Winter Term

I was able to do some of that field testing when a Coding with Kids instructor. I started by driving around to schools in Greater Portland, both public and private. As any of you parents probably know and experience, there’s that gap between when school is officially over, and when you’re in a position to pick them up after work. Many after school elective — and separately billed — activities go on in this gap, including classes around coding.

--

--