This summer 130 Walla Walla High School GEAR UP students participated in College and Career readiness programs at college campuses across the Pacific Northwest. Students received on-campus, hands-on experiences in everything from building their own business plans to writing college essays and learning how to become leaders on their high school campus. Summer academic programming is a vital part of building a college-going culture and GEAR UP is happy to partner with our academic partners across the Northwest to ensure students get an 180-degree look at post-secondary education and career planning. Students that participated in summer programming also take part in many school year activities; including GEAR UP Student Ambassadors and GEAR UP Peer Mentors. All these summer experiences were paid for by GEAR UP funding through a Department of Education College and Career Readiness Grant.
Washington State University GEAR UP, which is located on campus at Walla Walla High School, involves a variety of innovative partnerships and initiatives to support students in college and career readiness skills.
For more information or to find out how your student can participate in GEAR UP programs check out our WWHS website www.yourcollegeandcareer.org or call Becky Waggoner-Schwartz 509-526-8621.
Soap Lake High School juniors and seniors have a new elective. Students now have an opportunity to take a College Scholarship and Application class where they are able to work on scholarship applications, essays, and college applications. GEAR UP Site Manager and class instructor, Roger Chamberlain, says “The focus of the class is scholarship applications but there is so much more we are able to do. There is a particular focus on writing personal essays customized for the scholarship application. College application season is coming also and we will work on putting together a strong application.” Other activities include career interest surveys and best college fit.
Some of our class members have set some pretty high goals concerning scholarships. Several students have set a goal to apply for over 200 scholarships this year. “That is a lot of work” says Chamberlain, “but each one gets a little easier because you can build on the work you have done on the previous one. Students use many resources including Unigo, The Washboard, and Scholarship Junkies.
Soap Lake is offering 2 sections of this new elective. Soap Lake GEAR UP is proud to be working with such motivated students and help them build the future they are willing to work for.
As we approach the 2016-17 school year, we end the summer of 2016 with the Seattle College Tour. GEAR UP staff and a parent volunteer, took 20 students to the Seattle/Bellevue area, to visit a variety of colleges and universities. They left August 9th, and started their tours on August 10th with their first stop at Highline Community College.
At Highline Community College, students were taught the benefits of attending a community college, rather than going straight into a university. Students were able to visit the technology program offered there. The group was able to interact with professors from each department, and were given information of each program. Some students were not aware that they don’t need SAT scores to enroll in a community college, which was a surprise to some. The second stop was Seattle University. Here students learned the difference between a public/private schools, and got a glimpse of the school. Seattle U is a catholic private school that offers programs including Nursing, Engineering, and Law & Justice. Students were reminded if they get good grades in High school, and score high on their SAT, they could possibly receive a full ride scholarship to Seattle U!
On the second day, students had the chance to tour Seattle Pacific University and Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Students were given a tour of each school, and information of the programs they have to offer. They also got the opportunity to meet some of the professors in charge of the technology, nursing, and dental programs. The students even got to witness bread making at Lake Washington! Their facility has their own bread shop in the school! Students were fascinated by the schools environment and structure.
On their final day the group was able to tour Bellevue Community College, and University of Washington. Bellevue Community College is one of the few community colleges that has more programs available for students. They also have TRIOS and a multicultural program. Some of the students were really interested in the technology department they offer. At UW, students went on a tour of the nursing program. They were able to see classroom setting and how their classrooms are different from a regular class. Students received information of the different programs offered at UW as well.
Overall, Seattle College Tour was a great experience for GEAR UP staff to interact with the students. Some students stated this was their highlight of their summer. We also had about 4-6 students tell us they want to attend one of the colleges we visited! As we start our journey with senior and juniors this upcoming school year, we are one step close to our goal, high school graduation than college bound!
It’s July and that means it’s time for STEM Camp at WSU Tri-Cities. 9 interested Southridge HS students attended 1 or both STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, Technology) camps this year: CSI Science & Robotics.
First was CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) Science camp where students learned about forensic investigation. One of the camp counselors was ‘murdered’ and the students spent the week working to identify the killer! They started with learning how to investigate a crime scene and then learned about blood spatter, fingerprints, hair and fibers, shoe prints, and testing evidence. They were treated to several guest speakers, including a Richland police officer, who discussed evidence collection and processing by police. They investigated the crime scene, including collecting evidence and taking photographs, interviewed suspects, and processing evidence which lead them to find the killer. The students enjoyed learning about forensic science, while trying to solve the murder.
The second camp was Robotics camp. 4 Southridge students had to design robots to meet their choice of tasks. These students really got into ways to complete the tasks and building all sorts of different robots. One of the robots was designed to not cross black electrical tape. Another robot is supposed to kick a ball. A third was designed to dance and wiggle. The main challenge for the students is not just building the robot, the problem is programing it to perform the desired action. The students enjoyed building their robots and testing them, so much they complained at the end of each day, when they had to stop!
Riverview HS GEAR UP was excited to take students out to the WSU Tri-Cities campus to experience college life at a University. As students were recruited for this summer camp they were pleased to hear they would be attending workshops tailored to their career interests. Some chose Business and others Nursing but there were many options to choose from including Computer Science, Digital Technology & Culture, Education, Engineering (Civil, Electrical, or Mechanical), Environmental Science, Humanities & Social Sciences or Psychology.
Cougar Discovery was very insightful for Finley students; they spoke about how they enjoyed their hands on classes and learned new things about their careers. In the Nursing workshop, a variety of activities were done such as practicing how to take a manual blood pressure and running in place to check each other’s heart rates. There was also a professional panel with registered nurses from different departments and companies. This was a great opportunity to show students that a nursing degree can take someone in so many different directions. The jobs that are available vary and are endless.
One student took advantage about learning more about a career in business and said he got to design a restaurant layout. Students were grouped together and bounced different design ideas off one another. This allowed them to meet new people and learn how to work as a team. The collaborations were very interesting and impressive to see.
On two separate days students were taken on a tour of the Hanford site specifically where the Manhattan Project B Reactor resides. Students were bused over to the facility and given an extensive tour explaining everything about the B Reactor. There was a large collection of memorabilia laid out of how things would have looked during the time the B Reactor was on and working. This was quite the experience because it allowed students to learn about this very significant piece of history. Many took pictures while others just enjoyed the tour and looked around.
As students wrapped up their week of camp, they got to participate in a very interactive presentation on the morning of their last day. This guest speaker was motivational and encouraged students to get to know their peers and communicate. Students were very pleased with their week at WSU Tri-Cities; they expressed how they had fun each day and were excited to return the next day.
Thank you to WSU Tri-Cities and River View High School Principal, Chris Davis, for allowing students to participate in this camp. Students had fun learning more about their career options and meeting new friends from various schools.