Welcome to WSU Early Outreach
Finley GEAR UP in partnership with River View High School launched their first Families 4 College (F4C) workshop on Thursday, February 27th. This workshop was geared towards parents whose senior students have been accepted into a four year college or university. Student Service Counselor (SSC), Rachel Ruiz, facilitated lesson 12.3 from the F4C curriculum and discussed the differences between the high school and college experience.
The workshop began by having families log on to the internet to view several mini videos that described in detail the major differences between high school and college. The videos also provided strategies for parents to consider when helping their students’ transition from high school to college. Afterwards, parents and students were given a sample copy of a typical college schedule and were asked to review and compare to their current high school schedule. Families were able to note distinctions between both schedules as well as engage in conversation about the differences in attendance, course load, student responsibilities, study habits and parental involvement.
Students were asked to share the biggest personal challenge they felt they would face given the differences between high school and college. Senior student Jayme Walker stated that her biggest challenge would probably be studying every day to prepare for tests. She stated that in high school she hardly ever studied because she was able to memorize everything that was lectured during class time and in most cases she was able to use her notes during tests. Jayme stated that this would probably be different in college. The SSC informed the families that some college professors do not allow the use of notes during tests and that the material covered in a test is probably very complex. Memorizing the information given from a lecture is not sufficient for a good test score. Students not only have to study lecture notes, but actually have to read their text books, take notes and study those as well.
The SSC was able to answer questions and provide parents and students with examples of current college scenarios. The parents and students who attended this workshop left with a better understanding on how to choose classes wisely, what typical course load for freshman students should look like, and tips for studying.
Bianca Hernandez has been an excellent addition to this year's GEAR UP team at Chief Moses Middle School. Bianca is a very versatile tutor, but most students know her for her help in Pre-Algebra Classes. You will also often find her in the GEAR UP portable, either helping students with that math assignment they just can't figure out themselves, or mentoring on Fridays, where students get to know other things about her, such as her awesome women's wrestling career, her awesome coaching abilities, and more. She is liked by students and teachers combined. She has set great standards for what it means to be a great tutor. Her ability to work with diverse personalities and keep them focused on their school work is incredible. While interviewing Mrs. Hopkins' class, here is what a couple students had to say about her.
“She just understands the material and makes it easy for us to learn.” Zach - GEAR UP Student
She gives great advice and helps us with other problems besides school work.” - Esme - GEAR UP Student
“She is approachable because she is young,” “She has a good attitude,” and “She knows how to break it down to help us better understand” are among the other comments students had, when asked about Bianca's tutoring help.
Mrs. Hopkins, 8th grade math teacher at Chief Moses Middle School also had a few words to say:
"I think the students and I would agree that Bianca Hernandez has been such a pleasure to work with. The students respond well to her and her patience with them has been remarkable. I admire that as students seek her help, Bianca is careful to use questioning strategies to help scaffold students' understanding, instead of just immediately revealing answers to them. We are very thankful for all Bianca's help in making this school year so wonderful!" - Mrs. Hopkins
Bianca’s versatility and love for what she does definitely comes through to everyone around her. She has gained new skills when tutoring students, and continues to learn. Students enjoy having her as their tutor and appreciate her help. They have a bond with her now that enables them success and growth with the help of tutors like Bianca; all of this hard work in the name of a brighter tomorrow. From all of us here at Chief Moses Middle School to you, thank you Bianca!
On Friday, February 21st, GEAR UP Tutors Donna Conley and Sarah Garza accompanied a group of 8 juniors and seniors to the Richland Health Science Center building that houses the medical programs offered at Columbia Basin College. Programs offered at the Center include Nursing, EMT/EMS, Fire Science, Medical Assistant, among many others. Most of the students who came on the trip were interested in at least one of the medical programs that are offered.
The group arrived in Richland from Finley about 8:30am and was immediately introduced to René who is an instructor in the Radiological Technology program. She spoke to the students about the Rad-tech program for a little bit and then showed them some real life x-rays from past patients. She had x-rays that included broken bones, gun-shot wounds, and drug-related medical issues. The students were really excited to see and hear about what students in the program have the opportunity to do.
The next session for the group introduced the students to the main nursing program. Mary Hoerner, head of the nursing program, gave the students information on pre-requisites that are required to get into most of the medical programs, as well as opportunities to further their education after completing a two-year certificate at CBC. She also took the group around to a couple of the mock hospital rooms that held very life-like dummies that the students practice on. These dummies can be programmed to speak, blink, have a pulse, and have medical issues.
The third session, presented by an instructor named Brian, introduced the group to the EMT/EMS and Fire Science programs. He explained the difference between Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, EMT’s, and Paramedics. These differences included time it takes to complete certain certifications or programs, salary, and job descriptions.
The fourth session was with Shari Martin, who is the Surgical Technology Program Director. She led the group through a mock daily schedule for students in the program. This meant running through two surgeries, including a tonsillectomy. She demonstrated for the group the way the surgical techs would stand or sit, and how they would arrange the tools for the surgery, and during surgery how they would give them to the surgeons. She also explained the importance of cleanliness in surgery and having a great conscious about keeping yourself sanitized.
The last session of the day was in the Medical Assistant program. The group was met by Heidi Snyder, the instructor of the program, and she was very welcoming. She took everyone around the programs’ “classroom” which included; hospital beds, microscopes, blood testers, and a lot of medical supplies. There were a couple dozen students around the room performing different medical tasks, including testing one another’s urine. Heidi was very enthusiastic about the program and spoke very highly of it and its students.
After the fifth and final session, the group headed to the Richland Public Library to eat lunch. Overall, the visit to the Health Science Center was very informative, and ultimately helped make up some of the students minds about what they want to pursue after high school.
On Wednesday, February 19th, Finley GEAR UP’s 8th and 9th Grade AVID classes, along with 2 student AVID tutors, 2 GEAR UP tutors, 9th Grade AVID teacher Mr. Traver, and Site Manager, Amandalyn Rubio, took a trip to the Bechtel National Planetarium at Columbia Basin College. Once the group arrived they were escorted into the planetarium. Immediately, the theater seating and large, round, overhead dome screen captured the students’ attention. Once seated, the presenter for the planetarium gave the students an introduction to the Planetarium and what kinds of opportunities it offers for those who want to study or just enjoy Astronomy.
The educational science movie the group then saw on the dome screen was: The Other Side
of Infinity: BLACK HOLES. It was a great movie that explored black holes, in far off solar systems and close to home. There were simulated visuals of cosmic phenomena, star births and deaths, collisions of giant galaxies, and a look at the formation of the universe.
The students’ eyes were glued to the screen from start to finish. After the movie, the presenter had a little bit of time to show the group some constellations and special objects that they could see in that evenings night sky. The students saw a simulation of time from the exact time they were in the planetarium all the way to the night sky, including the sunset. They were then able to see the stars and constellations. One interesting item the group was shown was Jupiter up in the sky. The students were told that the planet was in a perfect position to be seen from earth, among the stars.
The trip was very successful, and the students really enjoyed themselves. Many were still talking about it days later. Thank you to everyone at the Planetarium for a fun and educational experience.
Spring break does not always equate to palm trees, ocean waves, and lazy days by the beach. This year we have three students who have signed up for the GEAR UP sponsored Spring Break Tours. Tyler, a junior who will make a good GEAR UP ambassador, was thinking he knew that Gonzaga was his college, but wants to check out other options. Darlene, who has been in GEAR UP class taking English credit, and Erica thought they wanted to attend a two year college, both girls are seniors. One day when Spring LaMere, Dayton GEAR UP site manager, was talking about the up-coming spring tours, the girls had some doubts about the community college and what they thought they wanted. Spring encouraged all three to give up their spring breaks and attend the Spring Break Tour. So palm trees and oceans will definitely be out for these three, but they will come back with an educational and cultural experience about colleges others may not have.
River View High School, in partnership with GEAR UP, is hosting its third class of Sure Score SAT prep academy students this year. Participants are from class of 2015. Students were recruited, and of the 28 students that were offered a spot in the academy, 25 showed up for the diagnostic test taken on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Students will get their class summary and individual student report within 48 hours of Sure Score receiving their testing materials. Academy dates begin in the middle of March and go until the end of April. Students will be taking the Saturday, May 3rd SAT as their culminating event to this academy. Math Sure Score teacher this year is Brian Eisenbarth, third year, and Tyler Hogg first year for Critical Reading/Writing. Teachers have been trained in their content area strategies and are ready for a new batch of students.