Local sixth and seventh grade students looked toward the future during Eastern Oklahoma State College's GEAR UP summer camps


Almost 700 local sixth and seventh grade students looked toward their futures this summer during Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP summer camps. The students experienced the life of a typical college student at Eastern by experiencing instruction in a college classroom setting, sleeping in the residence halls and eating in the cafeteria.

Eastern’s GEAR UP grant program partnered with STM 180 School Programs to host seven camps for 685 local students. This year's camps helped students examine the steps they need to take in pursuing their desired vocation by making education plans and thinking of ways they can help themselves be successful.

This year’s camp theme, NCIS (New Creation in School), explored six different areas, including Preparing a Foundation; Where to Go...Where to Go in the Future; Running Down a Dream; Doing the Right Things; Matching the Intensity and Finishing Strong; and The Case.

The NCIS summer camp was filled with learning opportunities fun activities. Students participated in team building challenges where each team had to work together to solve puzzles and physical obstacles. They also enjoyed a game of Wipe Out, a Clue Dance and several inflatables, bounce houses and slides. The mix of fun and learning is part of 180’s philosophy that students will be more willing to listen when they are having fun and know their leaders care.

The camp was free to GEAR UP participants. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low-income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. Eastern will receive more than $12.6 million during a seven-year period to help students and educators in 30 partner schools.


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