Gov. Raimondo visits ACE Academy, Bootstrap Coding Camp



Governor Gina Raimondo and Chief Innovation Officer, Richard Culatta, paid a visit to the Academy for Career Exploration (ACE Academy) on Tuesday to visit a summer coding camp. 

In March, Raimondo launched the Computer Science for Rhode Island initiative. By 2017, her aim is that all schools in the state offer a curriculum that involves Computer Science. 

ACE Academy provides a full college prep curriculum with a focus on technology, design, and IT fundamentals. The program helps students identify interests, skills, and opportunities for smart college preparation and career readiness. Students learn in unconventional ways — rotating between small group work with teachers, collaborative group work, and independent work. 

Over 50% of the students at the Academy for Career Exploration ended the school year with a college transcript from the University of Rhode Island, having completed college level requirements for Computer Science Concepts and/or Intro to Writing. 

Combining a competency based academic curriculum along with community service requirements, work readiness training, employment opportunities, and internships, ACE assures that students have every opportunity to succeed. 

Governor Raimondo looks on as students at the bootstrap coding camp show her what they've been working on.ACE is a flagship school for Raimondo’s initiative — All 206 students at ACE successfully completed a Computer Science Concepts course. Over 100 students earned 4 college credits, including 24 freshman, 22 sophomores, 42 juniors, and 12 seniors. 

According to the RI Department of Labor, there will be more than 4,000 jobs openings in the computer and math fields — jobs that Raimondo is eager to fill with young Rhode Islanders. 

The kids attending ACE’s summer coding camp are learning the basics of coding, applying the skills that they learn by building a video game. Two students, Ivan and Angel, had figured out how to get the character on the street to move up and down, and were working to make the character move side to side. They enjoyed coding, they said, and relished the challenges that coding gives students. 

“It was hard at first,” Ivan said. “But once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t that bad.” 

Governor Raimondo, beaming with excitement, praised the students for taking time out of their summers to learn and better themselves. She went on and told the students to work hard and stick with it, because these skills will translate into jobs. 

Joe Devine of Bridge Technical Talent — a partner of the Tech Collective — was on hand as well, and donated a computer to a lucky boot camp participant. 


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