Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scholarships Fund Computer Mapping Camp on Washington College campus

CHESTERTOWN—A partnership between the Washington College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) will provide scholarships for six high school students to have fun while learning a cutting-edge technology at the Computer Mapping Technology Summer Camp this summer. The camp, set for June 20-26, will be held on the Washington College campus and will include field trips to other locations in Kent County. The registration fee for the camp, which last year drew 67 students from grades 7 through 12, is $690.
SAIC is a Fortune 500 company that provides scientific and engineering expertise, systems integration, and technical services and solutions. In addition to the six SAIC scholarships, the Talbot County-based nonprofit Bay 100 Foundation, and the Pennsylvania based GIS firm geographIT are each funding one camper. The Maryland Higher Education Commission is also supporting the camp through a BRAC training grant.
Computer mapping technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are interchangeable terms for a growing technology that enables computer users to store, display and analyze any type of geographic data—from tables, spreadsheets or databases—and then to create maps and 3-D images from that information. GIS is being used in a variety of fields, from criminal justice to environmental protection and urban planning. Part of Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society, the GIS Lab on campus not only teaches the technology, but also applies it to real-world scenarios.
Camp director Stewart Bruce, GIS Coordinator at Washington College, works with college students in the computer mapping lab during the academic year but enjoys working with the younger students each summer. “I am excited to see so much interest from youth in this emerging technology,” he says. “And I’m happy that our camp is helping them understand more about future career opportunities in GIS.” For more information on the GIS camp, visit: http://gis.washcoll.edu/summercamp.php
For information on the scholarships, contact Stewart Bruce at (410) 788-2800, ext. 7177.

Photos: In addition to some outdoor time kayaking on the Chester River, campers at the 2009 GIS Camp at Washington College, learned about Remotely Operated Vehicles by building underwater robots out of PVC pipe and testing them in the College swimming pool. Here, Nicholas Whitmore and Clark Butler tweak the position of their robot’s thrust motors.

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