GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

Dayton - National GEAR UP Week in a Small Town/School

GEAR UP week in a small school can be more of a challenge than in a large school because of less numbers in students and staff. However, National GEAR UP Week was an opportunity to raise awareness in school and community about the positive impact GEAR UP is having locally. It was a time to share our program's accomplishments and to get students involved with our services to students and families.

Some of the activities Dayton did during National GEAR UP Week; Staff and students made posters for every class room that said, “College. It’s not a Dream, It’s a Plan.” A wall in the high school was designated for students to post their dreams. Each morning during the announcements, a student read CollegeBrainy Quotes. We had planned for a GEAR UP College Pep Rally with students verses teachers in college trivia, which did not play out but we will plan to do next year. We ended the week with an after-school informational meeting for parents and students. We felt that GEAR UP Week was a success in putting out the message of awareness of “College. It’s not a Dream, It’s a Plan.”

Dayton 2015 Summer STEM Program

Dayton GEAR UP completed their seventh year running a Summer STEM program. This year the teachers, Doug Yenney and Clint Reser chose a 4-week module in STEM emphasizing a different module each week. 

The first week they studied Materials Science. The students studied materials’ physical and chemical properties pertaining to engineering characteristics. The activities included creating and testing projects made from metals, ceramics and glass. A field trip to the Walla Walla Foundry was planned so students could view a pouring which offers services to assist artists in all phases of their project. 

The second module was Engineering Design. Students designed, built, and tested a small air powered dragster made from wood. The emphasis on vehicle performance characteristic pertaining to design variables proved to be fun for the students. Students in this picture are testing their air power dragsters. A field trip to Key technology in Walla Walla was planned. 

The third module was Environmental Science. During this week students visited the local forest for environmental sampling of streams and other parts of the forest ecosystem (trees, soils, fungi, etc.)

The fourth and final week the students studied Genomic Science. Working with DNA in DNA extraction, Gel Electrophoresis, DNA amplification via the Polymerase Chain Reaction, and Visualization of DNA proved to be a hit with the students. All the sampling came from local organisms of plants and fish.

Dayton's New Student Tutor

Ezequiel Garcia is an interesting and sort of a comedic young man. He is Dayton’s new GEAR UP tutor for the 2015-16 school year. After graduation he plans to attend Walla Walla Community College. He then will transfer to Eastern Washington University to obtain his Bachelor of Arts in teaching middle and high school mathematics. When asked where he would like to like live, he replied “Dayton, of course.” When asked why your home town, he replied “I like small towns and besides someone has to live in small towns.”

Ezequiel has been in the local Explorers (a section of the Boy’s Scouts program) for four years and now obtains the president’s title. He has played three years high school baseball, and has been ASB Treasurer for 2 years. An interesting fact about Ezequiel is that he won a coloring contest in the 4th grade and received a letter from President Obama. He doesn’t remember what he colored or what the contest was about, but he still has the President’s letter.

Ezequiel said he wasn’t always on the path to college. His life shaped up when he started going to Young Life. Not only did he receive support from Young Life, he learned to help and support others. Ezequiel not only will do office errands for GEAR UP, he can tutor students in math and will gladly do it. We believe Ezequiel will be and asset to the GEAR UP program in Dayton.

Dayton is GEAR-ing UP for Summer School Program

GEAR UP in Dayton is anticipating our Summer School Program with emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).Last year we had an average of 15 students participating. This year we have signed up 40 students. Our goal is to provide students an opportunity to experience science in a fun and interesting way by providing science experiments, lab work, and field trip opportunities. Despite best efforts during the regular school year, we are faced with many barriers to successfully promote STEM to the degree that engages students beyond earning credit or a grade for science class. With our STEM Summer Program, we are giving students the opportunity to experience meaningful and fun STEM activities, as well as time and individualized support, we will maximize our chances to “win over” student interest in STEM related careers. Our instructors are Doug Yenney and Clint Reser.

Doug is a veteran of 26 years teaching small high school science in eastern Washington State. He has been active in professional development in the areas of Materials Science, Biotechnology, Active Chemistry, and is interested in bringing engaging science experience to each student in Dayton High School.

Clint is a veteran of 13 years in teaching middle school in Dayton. He is active in Washington LASER consortium and has a knack for making science interesting at the middle school level.

Dayton GEAR UP - College a Necessity

As the school year is winding into summer, our GEAR UP students are ready for a break. Before releasing them into summer fun, our College Readiness class is taking online surveys through Bigfuture.collegeboard.org to find a college fit for each of their individual needs and desires. They were overwhelmed that there are so many choices to make in selecting a college. Taking this survey ignited thoughts of which careers made better yearly incomes. The students were searching the internet looking at salaries of various careers. They wanted to know how much salary was needed for a specific car and a beautiful home. These students were serious and realize what it takes to get the things they want. Students are learning how to use the tools GEAR UP has taught them. This class knows that effort and education equals success. “The younger you start to challenge yourself, the more successful you will be” (Quoted from Arel Moodie, Motivational Speaker). The class is in the process of taking the practice SAT test online. Taking the SAT Practice Test is a stress-free (and free) way to find your strengths and weaknesses on the SAT.

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