Panama GEAR UP sophomores tour UCO


WILBURTON, OK (May 11, 2016) – Thirty–six GEAR UP sophomores from Panama High School recently toured the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. The sophomore students engaged in a scavenger hunt with ten clues to questions involving the UCO campus and buildings. Students rushed from building to building in an attempt to be the first to complete their clues. Answers could only be found at the specific locations where the clues lead them. Students crisscrossed the campus while surveying such sites as Howell Hall, University Suites, Wantland Stadium and the Broncho Lake Tower.

UCO is the third largest university in the state of Oklahoma. UCO offers 116 undergraduate and 70 graduate majors and have more than 17,000 students in attendance. In 2006, it became the first major university in Oklahoma to have 100 percent of its energy supplied by wind power. It was also named an Olympic community partner and an Olympic/Paralympic training site.

Following the tour, Panama students ate lunch at CiCi’s Pizza. On the way out of town, they stopped in Arcadia for a soda at “Pops”, a soda ranch on historic Route 66, serving more than 700 varieties of soda.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students to get to see a large campus and experience life outside of our rural area,” explained GEAR UP Education Coordinator Dara Self. “By taking the students to tour UCO, we give the students the ability to see anything is possible and encourage them to pursue higher education.”

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature.

Panama GEAR UP sophomores on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma include: Front Row: Sarah Gentry, Jacob Enkoff, Anthony McVey, Fernando Nunez, Alyssa Powell, Tatum Tackett, Alyssa Hopkins, Alexis Enkoff, Mercady Nixon, Victoria Ryan and Kaylia Coleman. Row 2: Saylm Kasper, Chasity Huffman, Sydnee Haynes, Maci Goines, Taryn Thornhill, Brooklyn Collins, Acelyn McCroskey, Cole Linne, Bryce Currens, Dakota Eaves and Zackary Brown. Back Row: Courtney Phillips, Sierra Chavez, Tobin Wright, Jace Hardy, Keyton Watson, Dawson Restine, Jacob Mantooth, Tyren Keener, Skylar Herrington, Blake Dotson, Bradlee Tackett, Micah Archey and Bayleigh Wilson.

UCO Office of Undergraduate Admissions Service Representative Gina Hickey provides information to GEAR UP students about the UCO campus and campus life before the scavenger hunt began.

Panama GEAR UP sophomores get their game plans ready as they prepare to find the first clue on the UCO scavenger hunt.

Panama sophomore GEAR UP students listen as UCO Office of Undergraduate Admissions Service Representative Gina Hickey goes over the rules of the UCO scavenger hunt.

Panama GEAR UP students pause at UCO’s Wantland Stadium for a photo. Pictured are: Front Row: Victoria Ryan, Kaylia Coleman and Telissa Call. Back Row: Courtney Phillips, Alyssa Powell, Sarah Gentry, Mercady Nixon, Alexis Enkoff, Blake Dotson, Bradlee Tackett, Alyssa Hopkins and Tatum Tackett.

Panama GEAR UP sophomores Alexis Enkoff, Alyssa Hopkins and Tatum Tackett relax by UCO’s Broncho Lake waiting for the other groups to return from the scavenger hunt.

Panama GEAR UP students Victoria Ryan and Alyssa Powell enjoying the weather by UCO’s Broncho Lake after completing their clues for the scavenger hunt.

Panama GEAR UP students Jace Hardy, Keyton Watson and Maci Goines throwing a peace sign while chilling out by the Broncho Lake at UCO.

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