The METS Guild of Chestertown, funded by the Verizon Foundation in partnership with the Upper Shore Regional Council, is a set of three hands-on training tracks designed to give new technological skills to students in grades seven through nine in an out of school environment. This program is incredibly competitive but completely free to those who are accepted.
The Washington College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program operates a very successful experiential learning program for college students (and some high school students) in a guild environment where students learn by working on funded projects. We will extend this program to reach 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students from the region in what we will call the METS Guild of Chestertown. Our goal is to turn STEM education around by providing an innovative out of class environment where students learn by working on real world project hence our use of the term METS, which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Technology, and Science. A partnership with the Upper Shore Regional Council will provide links to community organizations in the region looking for students to work on projects and also provide cash match funding to provide small stipends to program participants upon completion of the guild assignments.
The METS Guild will be led by Journeymen Leaders from the Washington College GIS Guild and will have three METS tracks in web design, 3d visualization, and GIS. Participants will be competitively selected from local schools and each track will have up to 16 students led by a Journeymen Leader with a qualified Apprentice II providing assistance. The Guild will utilize existing computer lab resources at Washington College and will meet on the weekends starting in October 2015. All participants will start at the Junior Apprentice guild level and will have to successfully complete an eight week training program. Once the training program has been completed, they will then start to work on real world projects within their given technology track. Each student will receive a small stipend upon successful completion of their guild assignment. An evaluation of each student will be maintained to chart their progress and to provide quantitative and qualitative feedback on how effective the program is.
Our press release can be read here.
The GIS workshop teaches students how to utilize mapping software such as ArcMap to dive into geospatial learning. They will be following our established curriculum taught in the GT10 unit of our Geoworkshops course.
3D Visualization and Gaming
The 3D workshop aims to give students experience in 3-dimensional modeling and virtual world game creation. Students will utilize AutoDesk 3dsMax and the Unity Game Engine to accomplish these goals.
The Web Design workshop offers a series of classes in web development and design. Students will learn various coding languages (HTML, CSS, JS, among others) at a surface level enough to build a functioning webpage.