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Higher Education
College of the Mainland
News Release
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Teaching to a Younger Audience

This fall College of the Mainland employees brought academic enrichment to students at Simms Elementary School in La Marque.

“The program was a huge success and we are thankful for the opportunity to work with College of the Mainland. The students enjoyed the presentations and learning about the different careers available to them,” said Felicia Garrett, Simms Elementary principal.

For 10 weeks this semester COM employees visited Simms Elementary School to share with students the many career paths available to them. Students learned about biology, process technology, physical fitness, art, photography, music, safety and emergency medical services.

Julianne Duncan, emergency medical services instructor, showed off the COM ambulance, sharing with the students all the components of an ambulance and talking to them about becoming an emergency medical technican. “The students were really excited to see all the different parts of an ambulance,” said Duncan.  “The ambulance is a big hit and the students seemed very interested in the emergency services career field.”

COM photography instructor, Kristy Peet, taught children about photography without a camera. Using specially-coated paper, students placed leaves, rocks and any other objects on the paper, then exposed the paper to sunlight. The objects blocked the UV rays from the sun turning the rest of the paper blue. The more than 20 students who participated with Peet were excited to see this photographic technique. “The students were amazed as the paper developed an image of a rock or leaf,” explained Peet.

Melissa Collins and Kim Davis of the Industrial Technology Department taught students about process technology. Students were intrigued by what would happen when a marshmallow is put into a vacuum chamber. “The students thought that the marshmallow would shrink as the air is sucked out of the chamber, but were amazed that the marshmallow expanded,” said Davis. “We wanted to show the students the fun applications that pertain to the field process technology. It is imperative to let kids know that you don’t have to go to a four-year school to make a good living.”

One week students learned about the characteristics of a bird and how to attract birds to their backyards. COM Math and Science Professor Sheena Abernathy gave a presentation on common birds in the area and what equipment is needed to go birding. “I have a background in birding and I used to work in a nature park where I worked with children so I was happy to sign up and work with students through this program,” said Abernathy.

“Students loved the presentation by the marshmallow ladies and were excited about having the ambulance at the school,” said Garrett. Other COM employees that gave presentations were Guinn Sharp, Martin Perez, Michael Richardson, Tige Cornelius, George Bowes, Angela Dampeer and Geane Stevenson. For more information on the academic enrichment programs, call 409-933-8660.

PHOTO: COM Instructor George Bowes shows Simms Elementary School students how to form a bowl out of clay.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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