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Landmark College Offers Summer Computer Science Program for Area Middle Schoolers

Middle schooler smiles while looking at LEGO robotby Solvegi Shmulsky

PUTNEY, Vt. -- Landmark College is launching SharkBytes, a summer STEM program in computer science for middle school students. Part of the new initiative Expanded Learning Opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (ELO-STEM), this program will run June 27 to July 1, 2016. SharkBytes is an interactive, hands-on week open to middle school students who learn differently (LD). Students will explore coding and robotics while also investigating their own learning styles. The instructors are college faculty, experienced in working with students who have dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and other learning differences.

“The process of scientific curiosity and inquiry starts at an early age, and a powerful catalyst is the combination of an opportunity to experience hands-on science, a facilitator to help and inspire, and the joy of discovery and success,” said Dr. Peter Eden, Landmark College president.  “Like other programs, our STEM week is designed for fun, inquiry, and excitement, but ours also provides a supportive environment for students who learn differently to make friends while they develop strengths and learning strategies.”

Dr. Michelle Bower and Professor Kevin Keith of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department created SharkBytes, which will be housed in a state-of-the-art computer lab in the new MacFarlane Center. “We want students to get excited about STEM and to think about college as an option,” said Bower. “Students with LD often see a summer learning loss, and this program will keep momentum going for these students.”

The program will run from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on June 27, 2016 to July 1. Busing to and from local schools and on-campus lunch is provided. Participants may have dyslexia, ADHD, or an autism spectrum condition; however, a diagnosis is not required for inclusion in the program. The cost per participant is $900, and Landmark College is working directly with area schools to identify and fund individual students.

For more information, contact Susan Grabowski, director of short-term programs, or Dr. Michelle Bower, chair of the Mathematics & Computer Science Department.

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