News Garrett College Offering Stem Courses For Homeschool Students - Garrett College

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Campus News

September 18th, 2018

Garrett College offering STEM courses for homeschool students

Sessions will be held September 21st and 28th in the new state-of-the-art facility

Garrett College is excited to offer the first series of courses featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, otherwise known as STEM, specifically geared toward homeschool students in Garrett County and the surrounding tristate area. All of these classes will be held in the College's new STEM building.

A new initiative for the College, organizers within the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division are quite pleased as the classes are full; in fact, they were filled prior to last week's registration deadline. As a result, the College is looking to offer additional STEM and related programming courses in the near future.

"The response of the homeschool community has been very impressive," noted Terry Beachy of continuing education and workforce development. "We want to keep the momentum going; therefore, additional courses are being planned."

Eight courses have been developed by faculty, adjunct faculty members, and affiliates of the College. These courses target the younger population, specifically ages 6-10 and 11-18.

'Microscopic Life is Everywhere' will be instructed by Christa Bowser, associate professor of biology at Garrett College. Bowser teaches numerous biology and chemistry courses at Garrett. For ages 6-10 and 11-18, this course focuses on identifying parts of the microscope and proper usage. Students will have the opportunity to prepare a slide of their own cheek cells to observe under the microscope. Additionally, a variety of pre-prepared slides, such as onion cells, blood smears, etc., will be available for view.

Karen Wood, agent associate for the University of Maryland Extension, will instruct 'Google Expeditions Virtual and Augmented Reality Program & Google Earth'. An immersive learning experience for ages 6-10 and 11-18, the class is able to explore interesting sights through 360 degree and 3D images. Using the brand new augmented reality pioneer program, participants will have the chance to swim with sharks and view the inside of a volcano. Students will also explore landmarks, parks, museums, and important world cultural spots using Google Earth.

Designed for participants 6-10 years of age, 'What's Your Angle?' focuses on introducing geometric connections in the physical world. The class will engage in discussion surrounding terminology and exploring the different types of angles, culminating with creating a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. Karen Linton, adjunct math and reading instructor at Garrett College will instruct the course.

'Transformational Geometry: Create an Animation' is also instructed by Karen Linton for ages 11-18. Students will work as a team and stretch their creativity to create an animation (flip book) using the concepts of translation, reflection and rotation, on a coordinate grid. Once the flip book is created, students will have gained an understanding of what animators do to create many of the cartoons and movies that air on television daily.

In 'Essential Robots', students (ages 6-10) will discover what makes a machine a robot, and learn what all robots have in common. Participants will modify their own LEGO Sumo-wrestling robot, while observing which changes are most effective. The instructor for this course is Garrett County resident Phil Malone, founder of the GEARS robotics center in Accident, has more than 25 years of experience in robotics. For the past 12 years, Malone has mentored youth robotics teams in the area, including Garrett College's robotics team, Project Kraken.

For ages 11-18, 'Engineering and Robotics' introduces students to the wide variety of Engineering fields and the types of innovative and challenging projects that an engineer might face. This course is also being led by Phil Malone. Students will work in groups to engineer improvements to a LEGO Sumo-wrestling robot and perform 'tests' in the competition ring.

For information on future STEM and STEM-related course offerings, contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069 or For information on degree programs in STEM and related fields, persons may contact the Garrett College Admissions Office at 301-387-3044.