Enthusiastic Middle Schoolers Explore Technology and Science Pathways During Visit to Champlain College

Professors Help Open Eyes and Minds with Workshops on Coding, Math, Games and Forensics

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BURLINGTON, VT (05/21/2018) More than 150 middle school students from 13 schools - BFA Fairfax, Browns River Middle School, Camel's Hump Middle School, Charlotte Central School, Christ the King, Edmunds Middle School, Essex Middle School Georgia Elementary, Shelburne Community School, St. Albans Town Educational Center, St. Albans Middle School, F.H. Tuttle Middle School, and Winooski Middle School - arrived at Champlain College Thursday, May 17 for a day-long exploration of science and technology in a college classroom.

The Reaching Out On Technology & Science (ROOTS) program is sponsored by the Champlain College Division of Information Technology and Science and marked its sixth year of working with area schools to spark interest in science and technology among middle school students with an emphasis on increasing diversity and female representation in these fields.

"At Champlain College and the ITS Division, we believe that the future of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and STEM professionals relies on exposure and nurtured curiosity to students at an early age. We offer this program to local middle schools to help inspire these students and envision themselves attending college in a STEM field.," said Scott Stevens, dean of the ITS Division.

The visiting students also had a chance to talk with Champlain College President Donald Laackman at lunch and meet Champlain College students who were assisting with the program.

Champlain College offered students a series of three different workshops in areas including mobile forensics, website building, cryptography, game design, mathematics, programming and workplace skills. The workshops are led by faculty from Champlain College's Divisions of Information Technology & Sciences (ITS) and Communication and Creative Media (CCM).

In one classroom, students learned about the mathematical description of motion called elementary kinematics from Dr. Robert Marino, while just around the corner, Professors Robin Collins and Robin Abramson helped students use microscopes to determine the species of a fur sample.

Professor Amanda Crispel helped a roomful of students think about how to design a video game using colorful blocks and gave them a chance to write out their ideas on the walls. Meanwhile, Joe Williams, project director for the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation, helped the middle school students discover that even when you delete something from an IPad or smartphone, it doesn't necessarily go away permanently.

The excitement levels were high as students formatted their first web pages with Professor Frank Canovatchel, learned to create ovals and rectangles using computer code with Professor Lisa Soros, and decoded secret messages using math and a few spy tricks in the cryptography session with Professor Melanie Brown.

Overall, the day was deemed a success by enthusiastic students and their teachers and the Champlain teaching teams who were energized by the energy in the rooms throughout the day. See more photos from the day at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmcbncTj

To learn more about Champlain College's Information, Technology and Sciences programs, visit, https://www.champlain.edu/academics/academic-divisions/division-of-information-technology-and-sciences