Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a national program for middle school students aimed at getting ready to go to college. USC Aiken operates one of eleven GEAR UP sites on college campuses in South Carolina. Since 1999 about 150 selected students from GEAR UP eligible schools in Aiken County have completed year long, high interest Saturday Academies and Summer Institutes designed to provide academic and personal enrichment experiences at no charge to the families. Students visited the Governor's School of Science and Mathematics, other colleges, industries, museums, and outdoor learning environments.

Last summer, the USC Aiken GEAR UP students received two honors: four eighth graders accepted scholarships to attend the Governor's School of Science and Mathematics Summer Science Program, and a team of six seventh graders won recognition at the Citadel. Felicia Chandler and Jeremy James from A.L. Corbett Middle School, Cassandra Pope from Aiken Middle School, and Kristi Rhodes from RSM Middle School each were invited to study at the Governor's School last summer as a result of their high academic performance during the school year. These students were a part of the first cohort of GEAR UP students in 2000. In the Spring of 2002, the current GEAR UP eighth graders will have an opportunity to apply for scholarships to attend the 2002 Summer Science Program for a week at the Governor's School.


Also last summer, a team of six USC Aiken seventh grade GEAR UP students competed at the Citadel in Charleston against more than 200 other GEAR UP students from across South Carolina. The six-member team consisted of Alexandria Davis and Alicia Freeman of Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School; and Ashley Connors, DeAnna Gantt, Teanna Schofield and Courtney Williams of A.L. Corbett Middle School in Wagener. The students participated in three events: mathematics problem solving, a spelling bee and a design technology contest. The GEAR UP group from Midlands Technical College placed first in the mathematics problem solving contest and the design technology activity. The Citadel group placed first in the spelling bee. In math, Ashley Connors led the USC Aiken team to a 3rd place victory. In the spelling bee, Teanna Schofield led the team to another 3rd place victory. DeAnna Gantt won third place in the design technology airplane-making contest. All three students who placed are 8th graders from A.L. Corbett Middle School. The GEAR UP staff is very proud of all of our students and have enjoyed their attendance in the Saturday Academy this fall at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center.


Parents of sixth graders attending A.L. Corbett Middle School, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School, Aiken Middle School, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School, LBC Middle School and Jackson Middle School may apply for the enrollment of their children by contacting their guidance counselors in January. Applicants must not have failing report card grades.


Co-Written by: The USC Aiken Gear Up Academic Olympic Team

November 2001 RPSEC Newsletter Index

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The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center Newsletter is a publication of the RPSEC for educators. The Center encompasses the CSRA HUB, CEET, Dupont Planetarium, and NRSMEEP. If you have any information that would be beneficical to the audience of this newsletter, or would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Cindy Sparling, Editor, at (803) 641-3594. Deadline for submission in the next newsletter is March 15, 2002

  Copyright © 2000 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.

Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
Center of Excellence in Educational Technology
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801

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