June 6, 2013

Mineral County Middle Schoolers Explore WNC

Fifty-two middle school students, teachers, student mentors and chaperones from the Mineral County School District recently toured the main campus of Western Nevada College in Carson City as part of the Nevada Gear Up program. The tour gave the students the opportunity to experience various college activities that they can draw on when they consider high school course choices and explore their own post-secondary education options in the future.

The students, from Schurz Elementary and Hawthorne Junior High School, participated in physics experimentations led by WNC physics professor Dr. Tom Herring. The students were perplexed by the ability of air pressure to boil water and laughed to see a marshmallow grow huge when a vacuum was created around it. Herring demonstrated string wave frequencies and fiery vortexes, and used volunteers to create a human chain to serve as a conduit for electricity generated by the Dyson Sphere. Students learned the insulating property of water and the flammable property of methane gas when Mrs. Jessica Rowe, Gear Up Student-Parent Involvement Facilitator (SPIF), volunteered to be set on fire and finished unscathed by the experience.

Jack C. Davis Observatory director Robert Collier peaked the students’ curiosity with information and demonstrations at the Observatory. He shared how scientific data is being gathered and reported at the facility, and offered students the opportunity to view sunspots through a telescope.

Gear Up is a federal grant program designed to create systemic and cultural change in public education by reaching out to low-income, first generation and underrepresented students in middle schools. The program aims to increase student academic achievement, parental involvement, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment rates. Gear Up partnerships offer students, and their parents, ways to explore careers, identify training and education required for those careers, visit colleges, and gain skills in financial literacy all before they graduate from high school.

The Gear Up Student-Parent Involvement Facilitator (SPIF) in Mineral County is Jessica Rowe. Questions or comments for Jessica can be sent to jsscrw@yahoo.com or call 775-316-6394.

The Gear Up Ambassador for WNC is Hallie Murphy. Questions or comments for Hallie can be sent to hallie.murphy@wnc.edu, or call 775-461-6639.

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu

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