GEAR UP helped sophomore students start spring break off with a bang by getting a taste of college life at Eastern Washington University! Thirty sophomore students along with 5 GEAR UP staff went to Eastern Washington University on March 31, 2016 to tour the college campus and see what Eastern had to offer. By using the Interest Survey results we were able to focus on the students who said they would be interested in Eastern as a college option. GEAR UP called in students to meet one on one to make sure that these students were not only still interested, but that they met the grade and GPA requirements GEAR UP holds for field trip oppurtunities.
We met bright and early at 6:30 AM to make the two and a half hour trip to EWU’s campus. We quickly started our tour upon arriving! The students were able to see the Library where resources, such as student tutoring and study spaces, were provided. We were shown campus dorms and the recreation center where students could participate in a variety of activities from ice skating, to rock climbing, to checking out camping equipment for a weekend getaway! The tour also led us to the Pence Union Building, known by students as the PUB. The front of this building had a fresh fruit stand for students to encourage healthy snacking, as well as other eateries and the student bookstore. Student led campus events to bring students together for some fun could be found in the PUB’s media room!
After the tour we met with an admissions specialist to learn more about the admissions process. He shared the ins and outs of Eastern Washington and talked about tuition and affordability. He addressed the importance of the best fit for college and had our Southridge students fill out a worksheet that helped give them an idea of what they are looking for and hold as a priority in a college.
Before making our way back to Southridge, we had lunch at the PUB and doubled up on dessert! The students were able to see what the environment was like on campus and get questions answered about attending Eastern. Our students enjoyed the experience and the trip sparked an interest in many to visit other college campuses and find their best college fit!
GEAR UP’s staff have been working hand in hand with the PHS counselors, as our journey toward graduation for the class of 2017 gets nearer. GEAR UP’s graduation success specialist, Juanita Rivera, attended the running start workshop held on February 29th at the PHS library. Running start is a program that allows High school students to take college courses at YVCC, CBC, or WSU. Most students who attended this meeting were mostly sophomores who really feel that they are ready for college. A representative from CBC came down to give some information about the requirements for the running start program at CBC. We also had another rep from WSU Tri-Cities who gave the students information on its campus requirements.
Beau Gates, a National Guard recruiter, visited PHS for a small presentation that he had organized for the students about the National Guard. Mr. Gates was so kind to provide pizza, drinks, and door prizes. We had 3 students walk out with a whole pizza and a shirt from the National Guard. Students were able to interact and ask Mr. Gates any questions they had about the Guard. Overall we had 20 students who attended this informational meeting that took place on March 2nd.
Another exciting event that occurred was the Luck of the Irish social, which took place March 9th. Ambassador Officers along with some special guests such as Silvia from WSU, and Staff Sergeant, Mark Hutchinson, took the stage with great information/ activities for the students. Some activities included college categories, seat shuffle, and the popular game, electricity. The officers had a great time running these activities, and winning treat. The officers wanted to recognize a couple of students who have showed improvement in their academic courses and who have attended every GEAR UP social this year. The luck candidates for these awards were as follows; Pablo Vera, most improved in academics, and Lucy Alcaide-Campos- attended every GEAR UP social. The students were told whoever wore the
After months of planning and deliberating, GEAR UP took 14 students to visit Heritage University on March 30th. The students had the opportunity to explore the different career options Heritage has to offer. The students had fun playing the icebreakers the Heritage staff had organized for them. They were introduced to Heritages CAMP mentors, and visited the different buildings at Heritage. The students and staff were fascinated with the art work this university has. Students were also informed of the tuition and admission process and how financial aid comes into play. We had one student who was indecisive about what to do after High school, but after visiting Heritage she plans on attending that university.
This year was the twenty-sixth annual UW Math Day at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, WA. River View GEAR UP sent students two years ago who enjoyed the experience and inspired them to keep taking upper level math in high school. This year, River View partnered with Kiona-Benton HS and Columbia HS GEAR UP programs to make this a collaborative effort, outreaching to even more students participating in the grant.
Students signed up for their desired topics during a three session schedule. Concurrent session examples from the day were: how to slice a pizza like a mathematician, RSA encryption, to inifinity, and beyond, autocorrect fail? These are some of the most attended session choices by River View students. There were also special ticketed field trips to: the applied physics lab, planetarium, seismology lab, UW campus tour, and SAGE computer lab. Two engineering major students went to the SAGE computer lab, and two UW interested students went on the campus tour-great job taking advantage of those special ticketed field trips!
On Monday, March 21, a group of 35 students and 6 adults from the three schools set out on a marathon trip to the western side of the state. The group arrived at UW campus by 10am and were able to get into their first session choice almost on time. Students were able to explore campus for one hour during their lunch after session two, and all River View students met back at Meany Hall to hear from former River View student, and GEAR UP ambassador, Richard Parra. Richard is a freshman at UW, studying BioE. He answered questions about: dorm life, social experiences, selecting a major, support systems away from home, grades, how college differs from high school, and many other questions. Hearing from alumni of River View is always a rich and inspiring experience for current high school students.
A very special thank you to everyone who contributed toward making this experience great for Finley, Burbank, and KiBe students: Sarah Garza, Erika Martinez, Sandra Mondragon, Donna Conley, Sherri Nielsen-Hazard, Florinda Carrasco, Alyse Pivovarnik, Carin Waters, and the teaching and administration staff at all three schools!
Women Fly is an annual event hosted by The Museum of Flight for young women interested in aviation and aerospace careers. On March 24th and 25th, Dayton GEAR UP took 12 young women to Seattle, WA to participate in a series of inspirational and career-oriented workshops led by exceptional women working in aerospace related fields.
We started the trip off with a tour of Central Washington University. Before the walking tour, we met with Andrea who talked about academics, admissions, STEM related careers, graduate studies, summer courses and campus safety. The tour gave a unique insight into campus life from a student's perspective. We walked an hour in and out of class room buildings, resident dorms, library, book store and the student union center. It was impressive to all of us.
The theme for Women Fly 2016 was “Into the Future.” Special guest and speaker was Dr. Melania Guerra. Melania is a Costa Rican engineer, oceanographer and scientist, who’s passionate about exploration in extreme environments. She grew up being inspired by life forms that survive under conditions not compatible with supporting human life. The workshops gave the young women ideas of what kinds of careers they can obtain, and what to look for in a STEM program. Some of the workshops were: Accident Investigation & Safety Bingo; Flying Careers; Structures Past, Present, Future; Exploring Saturn with Cassini; Suited for Space; Sustainability-Flying the Weight, the Balance, the Food!; and The Wild Blue Yonder.
Besides attending a workshop of their choice, the girls were able to tour the museum. In the museum there are 27 different exhibits such as Air Force One, and World War I and II. Besides the exhibits, the Museum of Flight has many collections which they acquire and preserve a wide array of materials and artifacts relating to aviation and space history and provides a center for the scholarly research of these materials and artifacts. The Museum holds one of the largest and most comprehensive air and space collections in the United States, containing millions of rare photographs and negatives, a world-class library, tens of thousands of artifacts, and over 150 rare aircraft and space vehicles. Besides the workshops, Women Fly supported a Resource Fair which included Collegeology, Galvin and Rainer Flying Service, Washington Opportunity Scholarship, Women In Aviation, Alaska Airlines, University of Alabama and Idaho and other universities and community colleges.
In December GEAR UP at Southridge hosted a fun Parent Night! We decided to do a spin on the Game of Life and help our students experience the college admission process and what college is like. We based our game on the Game of Life with an expanded college section. Students and parents loved it!
It started with students filling out a simplified college application with their GPA, PSAT scores, & extracurriculars. We gave students a choice of colleges they could apply to. We had 8 college options- with their different requirements and stats. Students could apply to as many as they wanted. Then they were admitted or not based on their GPA & PSAT scores.
Students also had a chance to draw scholarships from the Scholarship Bowl to pay for college. The number of draws was based on the student’s extracurricular activities and the roll of a dice. Students could also draw cards that said they were not selected to win the scholarship. This allowed for some randomness to simulate the chance of winning scholarships.
Students then received a financial aid award based on the school’s average financial aid awards and the student need level. The students then had decided where they were going to go to college.
Then the college part of the game began! The college section had squares modeled after the life game squares for students to move along. The squares said things like “attend freshman orientation take 2 stars” or “skipped class move back one.” We worked to include all the positive and negative experiences students can go through in college. We included study abroad opportunities, failing tests, acing finals, making friends, researching papers, getting a parking ticket, making the dean’s list and changing your major. Students earned stars for each positive experience and had to move back for each negative experience. Students had to stop and pay for tuition every year, by taking out loans, unless they had scholarship(s) that covered the cost.
When students got to graduation, they took a picture with a cap and gown. They then got to job search and depending on their major, they had to wait a certain amount of time to get a job. Then they drew a salary card from either the Low or High Salary Card Bowl, again depending on their major.
Students really enjoyed the Game of Life: College Edition! Although next time we decided that we’ll cap the number of times students have to change their major (which causes them to return to start.)