Porum GEAR UP seventh graders tour Tulsa Community College & OK Aquarium


WILBURTON, OK (Feb. 20, 2018) – Thirty-eight Porum GEAR UP students recently traveled to Tulsa to tour Tulsa Community College (TCC) and then to Jenks to visit the Oklahoma Aquarium. Students began the morning by participating in a guided tour at TCC led by Admission Coordinator Kelsey Pitts and Admission and Prospective Student Services Recruiter Ali Castillo. Porum students saw numerous buildings and learned about various programs on campus.

Students began the tour at the Southeast campus. There are four main campuses in the Tulsa area and two commuter campuses. The Southeast campus is the largest with approximately 10,000 students. Programs are hands on to prepare students to transfer to a four-year university or go straight into the workforce. Students toured Building 8 that hosts programs related to math and science such as nursing, radiology, dental hygiene, respiratory care and other medical related courses.

Next students ventured to Building 6, also known as the Performing Arts Center for Education (PACE) Building. The state-of-the-art facility houses performing arts programs and serves as the performance hall for the Signature Symphony at TCC, TCC Music and Theatre productions, and an array of visiting artists and performance groups. Students got to go behind the scenes to see the individual recording studios and the Black Box Theatre.

In Building 7 students walked through the Library and the Campus Store. They were interested to learn about the various items (besides books) the store had to offer such as electronics, clothing and a free “gaming station” for breaks in between classes. Jasmine Lang from Northeastern State University (NSU) was also there to recruit transfer students. She explained the transfer process and different NSU campuses. In Building 9 students visited the gym which hosts a double basketball court, rock climbing wall, walking track and tons of exercise equipment. This is all free for TCC students to use.

After lunch, Porum seventh graders went to the OK Aquarium. Education Specialist Julia Gibson led students through the “Inside Story” tour. This was such a neat experience for students to see and learn about the various aquatic animals. The first stop was the Bull Shark Tank, a 380,000-gallon tank with ten bull sharks and three nurse sharks. The group then went into the prep kitchen where staff was preparing meals for the animals. Students were surprised to learn about the various dietary requirements for each animal and how often they are fed.

After the kitchen tour, Gibson led students to the top of the Bull Shark Tank. It looked like a huge swimming pool, but no students were eager to dive in. Next, they went downstairs to explore the shark tank from inside the “Shark Tunnel.” The “Touch Tank” was open and students were able to pet small sharks and stingrays before heading back to Porum.

“Both TCC and the OK Aquarium were new to most students and I think they had a blast!” said Rachael Ranallo, GEAR UP Education Coordinator. “They were very inquisitive taking back new knowledge to consider for future college programs and possibly career options.”

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. Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

Seventh grade students from Porum pose in front of the Bull Shark Tank at the OK Aquarium. Those pictured include (left to right) Luke Spradlin, Bella Mutart, Bryson Armstrong, Hailee Goodner, Jordan Anderson, Joey Colbert, Simon Girty, Brayden Stinnett, Jace Shipley, Ashlynn Anderson and Emma Murray.

Porum 7th grade students visit the OK Aquarium kitchen where meals are made for various aquatic life at the aquarium. Those pictured around the table include (left to right) Rawley Killingsworth, Bella Mutart, Brayden Catron, Jacie Montgomery, Josh Jewell, Craig Hood, Bryson Armstrong, Jace Shipley, Aquarium tour guide Julia Gibson, Porum teacher Kim Franklin, Porum teacher Tanya Weston, Porum staff Debbie Hyslop, Tyler Taylor, Porum teacher DeEdra Anderson, Jonah Shrum, Corby Mutart, Eastan Murray, Austin McCarter, Aquarium staff Kevin Barnes, Jordan Carter, Emery Arnold, Ashlynn Anderson, Emma Murray, Luke Spradlin and Rilee Miller.

Porum GEAR UP students pose in the shark cage at the OK Aquarium. Those pictured include (front row, left to right) Emma Murray, Ashlynn Anderson, Taber Sangster, Jordan Anderson, Jett Henson, (middle row) Eric Chapin, Blake Catron, Jace Shipley, Austin McCarter, Krystina Anderson (back row) Rawley Killingsworth, Luke Spradlin and Bryson Armstrong.

Porum GEAR UP students take a quick pic in front of the Shark Tank at the OK Aquarium. Those pictured include (left to right) Houstin Barnes, Simon Girty, Rawley Killingsworth, Luke Spradlin, Brayden Stinnett, Joey Colbert and Jett Henson.

Porum GEAR UP students pet sharks and stingrays in the Touch Tank at the OK Aquarium. Those pictured include (left to right) Emery Arnold, Anna Thornton, Rilee Miller, Gracie Tiger, Jayce Montgomery, Jordan Anderson, Emma Murray, Krystina Anderson, Jordan Carter, Ashlynn Anderson, Kyle Rock, Porum teacher DeEdra Anderson, Brayden Stinnett, Blake Catron, Kevin Barnes, Craig Hood, Simon Girty, Nicole Wright, Taber Sangster, Joey Colbert, Eric Chapin and Rawley Killingsworth.

Students look at the Turtles while visiting the OK Aquarium. Those pictured include (left to right) GEAR UP Education Coordinator Rachael Ranallo, Rawley Killingsworth, Jett Henson, Brayden Catron, Corby Mutart, Jacie Montgomery, Tyler Taylor and Blake Catron.

Porum GEAR UP 7th grade students tour Building 9 and learn about the Student Life opportunities to get involved. Those pictured include (front row, left to right) Eric Chapin, Jordan Carter, Ashlynn Anderson, Jett Henson, Simon Girty, (middle row) Blake Catron, Hailey Goodner, Krystina Anderson, Craig Hood, Joey Colbert, Jordan Anderson, (back row) Kevin Barnes, Emery Arnold, Emery James, Bryson Armstrong, Brayden Catron and Houstin Barnes.

Porum GEAR UP students pose in front of the “Family Tree” exhibit in the TCC Science and Math Building. Those pictured include (front row, left to right) Hailee Goodner, Eric Chapin, Krystina Anderson, Jett Henson, Simon Girty, Joey Colbert, Jordan Anderson, (back row) Emery James, Emery Arnold, Jordan Carter, Ashlynn Anderson, Brayden Catron, Kevin Barnes, Blake Catron, Craig Hood, Bryson Armstrong and Houstin Barnes.

Admissions Coordinator Kelsey Pitts takes Porum 7th grade GEAR UP students through the TCC Library. Those pictured include (front row, left to right) Brayden Catron, Krystina Anderson, Emery Arnold, Ashlynn Anderson, (middle row) Jordan Anderson, Kevin Barnes, Blake Catron, (back row) Eric Chapin, Bryson Armstrong and Craig Hood.

Porum GEAR UP students pose in front of the Aquarium in the TCC Math & Science Building. Those pictured include (front row, left to right) Brayden Stinnett, Cadge Meckle, Bella Mutart, Jacie Montgomery, Genifer Palermo, (middle row) Kyle Rock, Rilee Miller, Gracie Tiger, Emma Murray, Austin McCarter, Jace Shipley, Rawley Killingsworth, (back row) Tyler Taylor, Josh Jewell, Luke Spradlin, Corby Mutart, Nicole Wright, Eastan Murray, Taber Sangster, Jonah Shrum and Anna Thornton.

Porum GEAR UP students tour the Southeast TCC campus. Those pictured include (left to right) Corby Mutart, Jace Shipley, Taber Sangster, Gracie Tiger, Kyle Rock, TCC guide Ali Castillo, Emma Murray and Anna Thorton.

Back to News Listing