Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washington College Offers High Schoolers a Week Of Hands-On Geospatial Discoveries June 24-30

CHESTERTOWN, MD--Washington College will host a residential one-week summer learning program in Geospatial technology for middle- and high-school students June 24-30 on the Chestertown campus.
The Geospatial Discoveries Summer Program offers a unique summer experience for students entering grades 7-12, with three tracks: 3D and virtual-world development, marine exploration and discovery, and CSI crime mapping analysis. The program will take advantage of the newly expanded Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab at the College, and the learning and recreation opportunities on the nearby Chester River.
“By the end of the week, these youth will have understanding and hands-on skills in geospatial technologies and know how they are used in everyday life,” says Stewart Bruce, coordinator of the GIS program at Washington College.
Students in the 3D sessions will be introduced to tools such as Google Sketch-Up, GeoWeb3D and the advanced Unity 3D virtual world game development software. Using 3D recreations of either the town of Chestertown circa 1920 or the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment as it stood in 1778 in New Jersey, they will establish story plots and designs for a video game.
The CSI sessions will focus on how GIS analysis can help law enforcement agencies prevent crimes. Students will learn how to visually map crime statistics and predict where police need to increase their patrols and surveillance.
In the Marine Exploration and Discovery section, students will board the Washington College research vessel Callinectes to explore the Chester River and learn to map the river bottom with sophisticated instruments. Working with a former NOAA scientist, they also will compete to build and launch a Basic Observation Buoy that measures water quality and to create a working underwater robot.
This is the fifth summer the GIS program at Washington College has hosted a residential summer program, and director Bruce says it is satisfying to see many of the same students return to build on their past learning. He promises plenty of fun outside the labs, too, from kayaking and pool parties to movie night.
Tuition for the week is $1,295, with a discount for reservations made by May 4 and some scholarship funds available. The tuition includes housing in Washington College residence halls and meals in the College cafeteria.
For more information visit, or contact program coordinator Samantha Bulkilvish at 443-282-0016 or