, Muskogee, OK

August 17, 2013

Checotah students participate at institute

— WARNER — Eight students from Checotah Public Schools recently participated in the Wilderness Adventure: Science = Education and Careers Summer Institute at Connors State College in Warner.

The institute, provided by Oklahoma GEAR UP, provided students with an opportunity to improve math and science skills while using exciting exploratory technologies.

Students participating in the institute included: Kamin Cooper, Julie DePre, Kyle Garrett, Courtney Hamm, Jake Kratz, Shae McDowell, Destiny Roberston and Garrett Yochum.

During the free week-long institute, students lived on campus and worked alongside a college professor as they researched Oklahoma’s fish, aquatic insects, reptiles, birds and amphibians. The institute is offered each June to select students who attend GEAR UP School Districts. To be eligible, students must have completed the seventh, eighth or ninth grade and be nominated by a teacher.

“GEAR UP summer institutes are a great opportunity for students to participate in ongoing scientific research through hands-on, real-life experiments with college faculty and students,” Oklahoma Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said in a media release. “Students work outside in the natural environment and explore science, technology, engineering and math, STEM career opportunities. The institutes open the door for Oklahoma higher education to showcase futures in the STEM fields as very real and accessible here in Oklahoma while also introducing them to the college campus life and experience while they attend the week-long camp.”

Administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, GEAR UP — Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs — is a federal grant program offered through the U.S. Department of Education to provide opportunities for middle and high school students to acquire academic skills, planning information, financial assistance and support they need to succeed in college.

Oklahoma was awarded its third consecutive, multi-year GEAR UP state grant totaling $34.9 million in 2011. The mission of the state grant is to help make communities more of a college-bound population by providing activities, services and information to strengthen classroom learning and student achievement, empower educators and community leaders and educate students and families.

Information: or (800) 858-1840.