October was a busy month for the GEAR UP program of the Ruth Patrick
Science Education Center. On October 11, the staff welcomed Joyce
Johnson and Jenifer Ramseur, the program's new Administrative Assistant
and Director, respectively. Former Director Gwen Johnson is serving as the program’s Sustainability Coordinator while directing the Professional Development School at Allendale Elementary.
On Saturday, October 16, eighth grade students representing the GEAR UP
programs of several universities in South Carolina met on the USCA
campus to participate in the Fourth Annual GEAR UP Academic Olympics.
Students from the Citadel, Denmark Tech, the College of Charleston and
USC Aiken GEAR UP programs competed in boat-building, graphing
exercises, a Yahtzee tournament, a Write It Do It and essay writing
For the essay contest, each GEAR UP student wrote an essay to persuade their audience of the importance of completing college. The USC Aiken team, represented by Shaquandra Dunbar, Lavenia Samuels, Keshia Sims, and Ruschell Pope took top honors in the Write It Do It contest. Two members of each team were given a building constructed from interlocking blocks. As the writers, they had 25 minutes to record specific instructions for the other half of their team (who would not see the original buildings) to rebuild the structure. These four students from Aiken Middle and Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle Schools demonstrated the power of the written word and the importance of following directions.
Eighth grade USCA GEAR UP students visited South Carolina State University on Saturday, October 23rd for the university’s Youth Day activities and capped off the day at the Bulldog football game. The following Saturday, October 30, parents and friends joined us at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center to celebrate the accomplishments of this group of students who graduated out of the program on that day. Seventh grade students completed their Fall session on that day and will return on Friday, January 9 for the start of the Spring session.
Statewide the GEAR UP program has developed a network of dedicated educators and parents who believe that all children will learn when given adequate support.
The main mission of the program is to increase the number of historically under-represented students that successfully complete post-secondary education