Looking forward to the warmth of the summer sun in just a few months? Besides dreaming of sunny skies, now is also a great time to make plans how to spend those days. It is an ideal time to consider the best use of those weeks off from school for your children, and the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has prepared a packed Kids’ and Teen College schedule to provide an experience beyond the ordinary summer camp for children ages 5 to 17 from June 18 through Aug. 17.

Registration opens Feb. 14.

“CSM’s Kids’ and Teen College is designed to be an opportunity — an opportunity to learn new things, try new skills, expand understanding and make new friends — all while having fun,” said CSM Youth Program Coordinator Anthony Warrick.

This series of one-week educational experiences includes 115 different courses for parents and children to choose from, including 38 new offerings this summer. Courses are offered at the La Plata, Prince Frederick and Leonardtown campuses and include before- and after-care options at all three campuses.

Girl with Camera
A participant in last summer’s CSM Kids’ and Teen College sharpens her digital photography skills. Registration opens Feb. 14 for this summer’s program, which includes 115 different courses, including 38 new offerings.

This year, CSM included an additional week of classes to accommodate students going back to school after Labor Day. “We hope this will help parents when it comes to their family’s care and educational needs,” Warrick said.

“Kids get to meet new friends, discover a new skill or even uncover a passion they did not know they had,” Warrick said. “The opportunities are wide and varied. The Kids’ and Teen College program at the College of Southern Maryland is definitely not your parents’ summer camp, that’s for sure.”

Examples of some of the new courses available for students ages 11-14 include: Drones: Fly, Code and Create; Advanced 3D Video Game with Unity for Teens; Young Entrepreneurs; and Advanced Digital Photography.

Students ages 7-10 can select from new courses like Elementary Engineering for Kids, STEM Challenge with LEGOs® I and II, Comic Book Design and Mad Scientist.

Examples of new courses for students ages 5-6 include World Traveler, Intro to Drone Flying Missions for Junior Pilots, Superhero Camp and JEDI Engineering with LEGOs®.

CSM emphasizes high standards in its instruction, working with multiple vendors that specialize in the in-demand areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and vendors that employ the most experienced instructors. Vendors include Black Rocket and Circus Camp from previous years and four new vendors this year, Goldsmith Education, Playwell Technologies, Drobots and Lessons From Abroad.

Two students work together on a science experiment
Two students work together on a science experiment at last summer’s CSM Kids’ and Teen College. Registration opens Feb. 14 for this summer’s program, which includes 115 different courses, including 38 new offerings.

One of the new vendors, Goldsmith Education, has been providing courses throughout the state before coming to CSM. Goldsmith Education’s courses at CSM this summer will include Engineering and Robotics, Dissecting Computers, Rockets and Robotics, Circuit Fundamentals, All about Technology, Robotics with Mindstorms and Elementary Engineering.

Aaron Goldsmith of Halethorpe, who started Goldsmith Education after a decade in the industry and five years as a teacher, applies that experience when designing his courses. He only hires Maryland-certified teachers, and he believes in project-based education, where skills are applied in real-world situations.

“First they build the robot. Then, they program it. Then, they trouble-shoot it, and that’s the most important part,” Goldsmith said. “This multi-pronged approach asks students to think in multiple directions at the same time. It’s an exciting way to learn and it leads to better understanding of material as they marry the physical and digital world.

“Students are treated as engineers and learn to communicate as such using scientific and engineering terms and ideas. In turn, our young engineers work collaboratively to overcome challenges and learn from one another’s experiences,” Goldsmith said.

In addition to responding to the demand for more STEM courses, CSM’s Kids’ and Teen College is offering a few courses for older students this year. SAT/ACT Prep and the Great Job Hunt are offered for students ages 14-17. “We are also including CPR and First Aid for our Counselor in Training Course this year,” Warrick said.

For information about all available courses and to register for CSM’s Kids’ and Teen College, visit www.csmd.edu/kidscollege.