Now is the time to plan for your children's activities during the summer months. Parents who would like to give their child the chance to have fun while learning should consider the College of Southern Maryland Kids' & Teen College, a more than 30-year proven program of enrichment opportunities designed to expand a student's idea of what is possible. CSM's Kids & Teen College is the largest summer camp program in Southern Maryland and has options for children ages 5 to 14.
Registration opens Feb. 15 for approximately 300 classes being offered over eight weeks at all CSM campuses – Forensic Science, Lego Math, Minecraft Designers, Speaking Spanish, Junior Chef, Make Your First 3-D Video Game, Digital Photography, Cupcake Wars and Spaceflight Institute are just a few examples that show the range of available classes.
“We want everyone to have a great experience here,” said John Terlesky, CSM's youth program coordinator.
New classes this year that Terlesky expects to be particularly popular include Virtual Reality, where participants will create their own virtual worlds, explore simulated environments and craft memorable 3D experiences. Participants will receive a Google Cardboard viewer to take home after the program. Cybersecurity, which will be taught by CSM professors, is another new class that is expected to be popular with students, Terlesky said. Other historically popular classes include those involving STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), robot design, LEGO, Minecraft, theater and cooking themes.
“They fill up very quickly,” Terlesky said, encouraging parents to register early.
Approximately 20 percent of the courses offered at CSM's Kids? & Teen College this year are technology-related classes provided through Black Rocket, a creative sciences enrichment provider based in New Jersey. Black Rocket assists camps with project-based programs that foster 21st century skills like peer learning, creativity and technology awareness. The Black Rocket classes don't end after the week-long CSM session. Students are given links to continue their learning at home through an online training portal. The Virtual Reality class is an example of a Black Rocket class.
“The kids really respond to project-based learning,” said Angela Russo, director of operations for Black Rocket. “It makes it real for them … We believe every human being is unique in their ability and talents. Black Rocket's mission is to help ignite, unleash and enhance these distinct talents.”
Angie Rohrer is a sixth-grade math teacher at Esperanza Middle School throughout the school year. Rohrer believes that students of every age should take advantage of the summer months to continue to expand their math and science skills, as well other interests, just in a different way. Rohrer is the supervisor for Black Rocket classes in Southern Maryland and an enthusiastic advocate.
“I think in the summer they can really have fun and explore,” Rohrer said. She observed the students' responses to last year's Black Rocket classes as CSM's Kids' & Teen College and noted the enthusiasm of the students. “The kids just come into the class so excited,” she said. “I love seeing kids love learning.”
Rohrer also said that Black Rocket classes come with phenomenal technical support, which “inspires students' creativity, imagination and curiosity in technology.”
Rohrer encouraged area parents and their children to review the classes being offered and register for something that interests them, even if it is something that they have no previous knowledge in. “Kids don't necessarily have to have prerequisite knowledge to benefit from our classes,” she said. “Don't be afraid to sign up for something that interests you. We'll have a great time.”
CSM's Kids' & Teen College features two sessions, the first is from 9 a.m. to noon and the second is from 1 to 4 p.m. There is a supervised lunch hour in between the two sessions for those students participating in both the morning and afternoon sessions.
For working parents, CSM offers the options of extended day supervision of students from 7 to 9 a.m. and/or from 4 to 6 p.m. for an extra fee.
CSM's Kids' & Teen College registration for summer 2017 programs opens Feb. 15. Kids' & Teen College programs will be offered at CSM's La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick campuses. More than 300 classes are being offered over an eight-week period in the largest summer camp program in Southern Maryland. For more, see www.csmd.edu/go/kidscollege. To register, visit www.csmd.edu/Go/Register.