I was (for better or worse) exposed to an Apple II circa 1980. I was in 5th grade and was already keen on science (I was going to be a botanist), but hadn't previously known computers even existed. but got hooked immediately. There was of course little to no formal (or even informal) computer instruction, however I was lucky and had a great science teacher, who gave me (and a few other kids) time with the machines in (and after) class. Before long I was peeking and poking, and then came the vic20 and the c64 and my 99/4a. I even got to meet a PDP 11/15 that lived at our elementary school (!) for a time. But I digress. For traditional high school there was little or no opportunity to study computers, so I did the only logical thing and went to a technical school, where they had a PDP 11/44. COBOL, RPG, IBM S/36, more RPG. Then the IBM PC. More RPG, but then: Word processing. Desktop Publishing. Databases. Many software titles.
So my experience in High School was untypical for the time. Technical education? Yes it exists, but even today, not really in mainstream schools, at least not on any practical level. I think most people that got into computers, whether it was 1980, 1990 or 2000, or 2012 for that matter, got sucked into them one way or another.
There are some great teachers out there that have guided kids one way or another into technical understanding of computers and related systems but I would imagine many or even most of those kids were already into them after merely being exposed to them, and were able to just figure them out on their own, at least on a "fundamentals" level. Sad that with the test-centric environment the public schools have become, the great teachers that might identify a kid interested in a particular subject that resonates with their own interests, might not have the time, or latitude, to tutor them in that direction.
Computers are also kind of ho-hum in today's world. Whereas for those of us in our 40s and 50s, when we first had access to them, we were getting to actually see and use things that (in a 5th graders mind) only Sci-Fi TV characters and real-life mad scientists got to play with. So there was a sense of awe I think. Today? iDevice? I'll just get an iDevice n+1 next month or whatever. It might as well be a brand of hair product. Techno-bling.
The latest computer system is hardly more than another technical commodity like a threaded screw or a formed concrete block (both world changing technical achievements). It is a thing that can be mostly taken for granted by those who have always known them to exist. Which is, in some ways, tragic, since if anything, there are orders of magnitude more unexplored possibilities open now than there were 30 years ago. Though in other ways, probably exactly as it should be. Computers aren't (yet anyway) the magical creatures we dreamed them to be from exposure to science fiction and our own imaginations. They're tools, much like any other.
I guess I digressed again. Sorry about that.