CWUNewsNewshttp://www.cwu.edu/gearup/newsen-usStatewide Robotics Competition Held this Weekend at CWUhttp://www.cwu.edu/gearup/node/2533Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:20:03<p>More than 500 K-12 students will descend on Central Washington University to compete in the 2017 Washington State VEX Robotics Tournament on March 11 in CWU’s Nicholson Pavilion. More than 100 teams from elementary, middle, and high schools from across Washington state will compete this Saturday for a chance to attend the VEX Worlds competition in Louisville, Kentucky in April.<br><br>Opening ceremonies are at 10:00 am and competition matches begin at 10:30 am. The event is free and open to the public.<br><br>CWU GEAR UP will be represented by seven high school teams and eleven middle school teams from our cohort schools in Tonasket, Quincy, and Wenatchee.</p><p>“Developing the robotics teams and participating in STEM competitions are key components of our MOSAIC2 and SOAR3 grants,” said Kelley Quirk, program manager. “The grants provide the equipment and curriculum. The majority of our middle school and high schools have at least one team, and they compete throughout the school year.”</p><p>CWU GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has two separate grants funded by US Department of Education, one of several that the university has received in the past 15 years.</p><p>The current grants MOSAIC 2 (Moving our Students Academically into College and Careers) ($11.4 million) serves 2,040 11th and 12th graders from the Brewster, Highland, Lake Chelan, Manson, Omak, Oroville, Quincy, Tonasket, and Wenatchee school districts.</p><p>SOAR3 (Success and Opportunity through Affordability, Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships) ($18.3 million) serves 3,600 eighth- and ninth-grade students in the Brewster, Easton, Highland, Lake Chelan, Manson, Omak, Oroville, Quincy, Richland, Tonasket, and Wenatchee school districts.</p><p>CWU has received four GEAR UP grants since 2002. For more information about GEAR UP at CWU, go to www.cwu.edu/gearup.</p><p>For more information about the 2017 VEX Robotics World Competition, go to https://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-robotics-competition/RE-VRC-17-2216.html</p><p>Parking is free in all university lots on weekends, except in residential housing lots and in specially designated spaces.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu</p><p>March 9, 2016</p></br></br></br></br></br>CWU Gear Up hosts dozens of middle school students for fun-filled Math Festivalhttp://www.cwu.edu/gearup/node/2532Wed, 16 Nov 2016 14:14:41<p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Dozens of students from around the state got the chance to experience a special math festival on Tuesday at Central Washington University.</span></p><p>"It's not that hard or challenging but I'm just having fun here," said Manson middle school eighth-grader Jonathan Sarmiento.<br>Sarmiento wasn't the only one having fun at Central Washington University today.</p><p>See more of this story on<a href="http://kimatv.com/news/local/cwu-gear-up-hosts-dozens-of-middle-school-students-for-fun-filled-math-festival"> KIMA-TV news</a>.</p></span style="line-height: 1.4;"></br>CWU Program Honored During GEAR UP Weekhttp://www.cwu.edu/gearup/node/2531Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:23:50<p>Gov. Jay Inslee recently honored Central Washington University’s successful Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) for its work with more than 5,500 students across the state.</p><p>In a formal proclamation, governor designated September 19-23 as GEAR UP Week in Washington. CWU’s efforts are among those being acknowledged during the week. More than 32,000 students in Washington take advantage of educational opportunities offered through GEAR UP.</p><p>“Since it was founded back in 1999, GEAR UP grants have allowed thousands of students to attain a goal—and maybe one they thought they would not be able to achieve—of attending college,” said Tracy Plouse, CWU director for GEAR UP.</p><p>CWU has received four GEAR UP grants since 2002, in partnership with the <a href="http://nlagroup.com/" target="_blank">Northwest Learning and Achievement Group</a> of Wapato. The federally funded program’s goal is to increase the number of students who stay in school and go on to succeed in postsecondary education. It specifically focuses on students from low-income and underserved communities, who may become the first person in their particular family to go to college.</p><p>“We start with middle school students and follow them through to their first year of college,” Plouse noted. “To get those students prepared to succeed in higher education, the focus is on transitions between grade and school levels, rigorous academic work based on college entrance requirements, career and college admissions and financial aid counseling for students and their families.</p><p>CWU GEAR UP specifically serves students in the Brewster, Highland, Lake Chelan, Manson, Omak, Oroville, Quincy, and Tonasket, Wenatchee, Richland and Easton school districts.</p><p>The program includes: Moving Our Students Academically In to College and Careers (MOSAIC2), which serves 2,200 11th and 12th grade students; and Success and Opportunity through Affordability, Relevance, Rigor and Relationships (SOAR3), which involves 3,300 more students in the eighth and ninth grades.</p><p>Students participating in the program get opportunities for:<br>• Tutoring and additional academic assistance<br>• College field trips<br>• College and career exploration<br>• Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities, camps, and competitions— including some focusing on robotics—led by university faculty, students, and staff in Ellensburg and at participating schools.</p><p>To aid with its efforts, GEAR UP partners with a wide range of CWU departments, including astronomy, biology, construction management, physics and the Center for Excellence in Science and Math Education, along with off-campus entities, such as Washington First Robotics and Junior Achievement.</p><p>“Through GEAR UP, we can also sponsor professional development for teachers those looking for master’s degrees, endorsements and certificates,” Plouse pointed out. “It’s another way to help increase the number of highly-qualified teachers in these districts.”</p><p>At CWU, Plouse works with Kelley Quirk, and Marla Weidenaar, who provide administrative and program support for CWU’s GEAR UP initiatives.</p><p><strong>Media contact</strong>:&nbsp;Robert Lowery, director of radio services and integrated communications, 509-963-1487,&nbsp;Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu</p><p>September 20, 2016</p></br></br></br></br>CWU GEAR UP Teams to Compete in Robotics World Competition April 19-24http://www.cwu.edu/gearup/node/2530Mon, 18 Apr 2016 08:50:48<p>Two middle school teams from Central Washington University’s GEAR UP program will attend the VEX Robotics World Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, April 19-24. The teams qualified at the state meet held in February, besting 30 other teams to compete internationally. They are the only teams in eastern Washington to qualify.</p><p>Nearly 5,000 students from more than 25 countries will attend the VEX world competition.</p><p>Team AI (Artificial Intelligence),from Foothills Middle School in Wenatchee received the "Middle School Excellence Award" at the state competition. The eighth-graders are Willow Baker, Caitlyn Drolet, Regan Tumilson, and Chloe Wiegand; their coach is Jenelle Bailey.</p><p>From Tonasket Middle School, the Dream Team qualified based on their programming skills, one of the more difficult parts of the competition. The eighth-grade team members are Kason Tibbs, Joey Coleman, and Kyle Martin; their coach is Nathan White.</p><p>Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a CWU program funded by an&nbsp; $18.3million US Department of Education grant, one of several that the university has received in the past 15 years. The current grant, SOAR3 (Success and Opportunity through Affordability, Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships) serves seventh- and eighth-grade students in the Brewster, Easton, Highland, Lake Chelan, Manson, Omak, Oroville, Quincy, Richland, Tonasket, and Wenatchee school districts.</p><p>“Developing the robotics teams and participating in STEM competitions are key components of the grant,” said Kelley Quirk, program manager. “It provided the equipment and curriculum. Now just about every school has at least one team, and they compete throughout the school year.”</p><p>Quirk and four CWU students will accompany the GEAR UP teams to Louisville.</p><p>“Most of our students haven’t traveled much beyond their hometown, much less board a plane and travel across country,” Quirk noted. “This trip is as much of an education in exploring places beyond their hometown as learning how to program a robot.”</p><p>The students have already had a taste of international collaboration. They recently met with the robotics team from Haiti, who were visiting their sponsor at Seattle Prep. The Washington teams will meet up with the Haitian students again at the competition.</p><p>“In addition to the robotics competition, all of the competitors will be exclusive guests of Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park for a culminating evening celebration on April 23,” Quirk added. “They’ll have a chance to talk to and get to know students from all over the world.”</p><p>CWU has received four GEAR UP grants since 2002. For more information about GEAR UP at CWU, go to www.cwu.edu/gearup.</p><p>For more information about the VEX Robotics World Competition, go to www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-robotics-competition/re-vrc-16-3201.html.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu<br>&nbsp;</p></br>CWU Welcomes 350 GEAR UP Students on Saturday, November 15http://www.cwu.edu/gearup/node/2507Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:56:56<p>More than 350 ninth- and tenth-grade students and their parents from Brewster, Chelan, Manson, Tonasket, Highland, Quincy, Omak, Oroville and Wenatchee school districts will attend Central Washington University’s GEAR UP college preparation workshop and VEX Robotics training on Saturday November 15.</p><p>GEAR UP, a federally funded program, stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Its mission is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.</p><p>Students and their families will participate in a day of workshops and hands-on science activities, including a “Why go to College” a presentation and panel discussion, led by CWU students. Career Services will introduce career exploration, and the Financial Aid office will discuss college financial aid options.</p><p>The GEAR UP Discovering Science Connections team, mentored by Steve Wagner, professor, biological sciences, and graduate students Anne Salow and David Reavill, will lead workshops that focus on reptiles and amphibians, birds, and primate skulls. In addition, students on the GEAR UP VEX robotics teams will meet in Hogue Hall to prepare for the upcoming December 6 VEX competition.</p><p>Students will earn an Anthropology Passport at the Museum for Culture and Environment coordinated by the museum’s director Mark Auslander, and staff Hope Amason and Lori Sheeran. Students will explore DNA extraction with Professor Joe Lorenz, discover ancient stone tools with the geography graduate students, and study macaque behavior with Primate Behavior and Ecology student Sara Perdue. The day will end with a tour through the MCE exhibit, How Did the Cougar Cross the Road, which explains wildlife passages and genetic diversity/connectivity across Snoqualmie Pass.</p><p>The CWU MOSAIC2 GEAR UP Project serves 2,040 students in in central Washington. GEAR UP provides critical early college awareness and support activities like tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education and college scholarships to improve access to higher education for low income, minority and disadvantaged first-generation students and their families.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu</p></br>