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Students at West Hartford’s Intensive Education Academy Participate in Largest Learning Event in History

IEA's Coding Club. Submitted photo

IEA raises awareness about importance of computer science education by participating in Computer Science Education Week.


Students and staff at the Intensive Education Academy (IEA) came together to participate in the Hour of Code Dec. 8, as part of Computer Science Education Week, which ran from Dec. 4-10. Students at the nonprofit school for students with special needs, were among tens of millions of people around the world to take part in the largest learning event in history.

“The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket science – anybody can learn the basics,” said Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org. “Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code. The demand for relevant 21st century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries.”

All students participated in the Hour of Code, from the youngest kindergarteners to the 18-21-year-old transition students. Students were able to partake in a range of coding activities that complemented their skill set, from beginners coding games to the ever-popular Minecraft and even programming in JavaScript. Every classroom had a student coding ambassador from the IEA Coding Club to help ensure that the Hour of Code was a success.

Technology is an integral part of the students’ day at IEA, with each student having an iPad to help with their daily academics, scheduling and personal organization. Classrooms are all equipped with interactive whiteboards to allow teachers to integrate multimedia and interactivity into each lesson. Coding, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) activities, have been a growing part of IEA’s curriculum.

“Technology is not going away, if anything it’s becoming even more embedded in our daily lives,” said Kristen Levesque, IEA’s advanced math teacher and initiator of the Hour of Code. “It’s exciting to see how many of our students have participated in coding activities before or just intuitively know what to do. Some of our students may experience obstacles with traditional school-based skills, but this activity gives them a chance to demonstrate mastery in a different way, and for some students, to even take on a leadership role that they may not have otherwise. We are preparing our students for the future and we want to make sure they are informed and excited about the tools they’ll need going forward. Learning about technology is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.”

Since 1971, the Intensive Education Academy (IEA), a nonprofit, State of Connecticut-approved special education facility, has helped students reach their full potential, through a nurturing and individualized learning environment. IEA is a non-denominational ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph. IEA currently serves students ages 5-21 from 29 school districts in CT and western MA. For more information, visit ie-academy.org, or contact the school at 860.236.2049.

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1 Comment

  • Is there a way to slow traffic between the beginning of North Main Street where it becomes two lanes and Bishop’s Corner. Cars do not generally obey the speed limit past all the schools that are or near North Main. In fact, many people use the road to speed as though they’re on a racecourse. The police don’t seem to pay attention to the speeders. Also, there’s no right on red from White Hill Drive onto North Main, but most people ignore that.

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