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USU Partners

 USU STARS! GEAR UP Partnerships

USU STARS! GEAR UP partners with these businesses and organizations to create greater opportunities for GEAR UP students to succeed in school and prepare for college:



Gayle Bowen

Space Dynamics Laboratory

The objective of the Space Dynamics Laboratory for USU STARS! is to provide information and activities for teachers and students to gain new understanding of "real world" space science projects using state-of-the-art technology. SDL wants to inspire and motivate students to pursue fields of engineering and science, help raise college enrollment, and help enhance the engineering and science backgrounds of teachers at K-12 schools through teacher workshops and professional development activities.

Robotics: Hands-On Student Activities

An example of a hands-on activity that the Space Dynamics Lab offers is robotics and remote sensing. The Lab purchased eight Lego MINDSTORMS Education sets and eight HP Netbook computers to go with them. This activity is a great tool to teach remote sensing, programming, materials, and team work. Their trials have shown that youth 12 years or older have the skills to build actuating structures and to program the robots.  



Student Affairs Office

USU Division of Student Affairs

Part of the USU Division of Student Affairs, the USU Access & Diversity Center proposed the following services for USU STARS! GEAR UP:

ACT/College Prep

Publications, presentations, and one-on-one counseling on the college prep timeline. Preparation will include studying for the ACT, importance of high school classes and GPA, higher education options, admission process and deadlines, and scholarship information.

Campus Visits

Tailored campus tours that meet the needs of each school. Advising, sporting events, and dinner/ice cream to be included. In addition, students will be invited to events promoting higher education (Hispanic Leadership Conference, Diversity Days, etc.)

College Experience

Create an opportunity for students to spend a week on the USU campus. Facilitate workshops, classroom experiences, and field trips to sample the richness of a college campus.

Financial Literacy

Provide information and staff support where needed during campus visits. Collaborate with UHEAA's outreach program to promote and train families with financial management, debt management, and budgeting before, during, and after college.

Parent Education

Bi-lingual parent education programs designed to support families each step of the way through the process toward higher education

Social Responsibility

Incorporate components of the established Aggies Think, Care, Act Program to raise awareness of conflict management, bullying, and 3rd party/bystander responsibilities.


Roy Nieto
1-888-545-8378 ext. 108


SureScore continues to impact the lives of students by focusing on our mission: to increase college readiness in public schools, particularly those serving economically-disadvantaged students. Founded on the principle that college preparation should be accessible to all students - regardless of socio-economic background - our cost-effective educational model allows districts to reach more students through large-scale implementation.

Responding to the unique challenges and goals of each district, SureScore develops effective college readiness solutions that are customized for each campus. Utilizing 21st century methodologies, SureScore’s products provide instruction and professional development in core enrichment, test preparation, and college and career planning.

Continuously working with each school district to help raise expectations and steer more students toward postsecondary education is the core basis of all products. Ongoing support, as well as SureScore’s unwavering dedication to the students and teachers we serve, is what makes our partnerships successful.



Eric Batten

Texas Instruments

Student success in mathematics is often determined during the middle school years based on how well students learn pre-algebra and algebra concepts. When students successfully cross this educational bridge, they have a higher rate of success in high school and are more likely to attend college. Failure in mathematics often results in students dropping out of high school.

TI MathForward is a pre-algebra and algebra-readiness program that fosters mathematics achievement for all students. TI MathForward combines TI technology and professional development, including in-classroom coaching, and seamless integration into a school's own curriculum. Both educators and students benefit from the program's extensive resources, which can be applied in classrooms with proficient, struggling, English Language Learners, and Special Needs students.


Duane Merrell
John Vanderford


Utah Space Grant Consortium

The Utah Space Grant Consortium proposes to engage students and teachers in activities related to Utah State Core Curriculum and STEM fields. Schools will be given all the equipment and supplies from the activities so they will be able to continue the activities for future classes.

Activities & Workshops:

  • Paper Rockets (controlling variables)
  • Paper Drag Racers (motion & resistance)
  • Paper Truss & Tower (vectors & forces)
  • Hot Air Balloons (lighter than air vehicles, equilibrium, buoyant forces)
  • Bottle Rockets (Newton's Laws)
  • Mission to Mars (engineering design, impulse)
  • Egg into Wall, What an Impact (engineering design, impulse)
  • Moon and Back (forces, Newton's Laws, engineering design)
  • Tug 'o War (forces, conservation of energy)
  • Find the Butterfly (adaptations)
  • Classify the Jelly Belly (classification)
  • many more...




Mary Roe


School of Teacher Education & Leadership

The School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) is well-positioned to offer professional development programs to teachers throughout the state. The programs are designed to build on teachers' strengths and address specific needs. TEAL faculty, staff, and administration will continue to work with curriculum specialists and administrators in partner districts to engage in collaboration, sharing of ideas, and developing strategies and resources to improve learning opportunities. The department has the capacity to develop and adapt supportive activities that build on current work of both university and school partners.

Possible topics include: 

Cultural Competence

Given the changing demographics of the student population in our state and nation, teachers may find new challenges in meeting the needs of all of their students, particularly those from underrepresented populations. In the School of TEAL, we have faculty expertise in the area of culture studies and can provide professional development shaped to the needs of individual districts. We offer professional development courses in the areas of culture and English as a Second Language (ESL). Most of the courses are available in workshop versions of our masters courses.

Working with Struggling Readers

In the School of TEAL, we have faculty with expertise in the area of literacy, particularly working with struggling readers. We can provide information, insights, and strategies on ways to assist struggling readers to become proficient readers and make sense of a variety of genres. We can design activities to meet specific needs across grade levels K-12. Further, our literacy endorsement is now fully online and available to teachers who may wish to provide expertise in literacy instruction within secondary schools.

Common Core Curriculum

The School of TEAL has long been involved in a professional development program titled The CORE Academy. The purpose of this program is to provide three-day workshops for teachers on the Utah Core Curriculum (now the Common Core Curriculum). Three-day workshops are presented in locations statewide that are convenient for the participants. Academy facilitators provide connections between integrated content presentations and essential learning processes and skills. Participants receive instruction and materials enabling them to implement the learning activities shared during the sessions. Follow-up sessions occur during the school year. These follow-up activities will be identified and delivered by partnering districts. In addition to targeting the elementary curriculum, target areas in the secondary common core can be determined based on district identified needs.


The School of TEAL provides a mentoring program titled Student Teacher Mentoring Workshop. The purpose of this project is to support the mentoring activities of cooperating teachers for student teachers placed in local classrooms as part of the Utah State University teacher education program. We anticipate that providing mentoring, modeling, and discourse strategies to cooperating teachers will positively impact student teachers and their interaction within classrooms. Cooperating teachers will have the opportunity to participate in professional learning experiences earning Teacher Education Professional Development (TEPD) credit from Utah State University, which will benefit re-licensure efforts and ongoing educator improvement. In addition to a workshop in August, several activities are provided for use with placed student teachers in the fall. Participating teachers come together in late September to share implementation successes and culminate the professional learning experience.



Ute Tribe Education Department

The Ute Tribe Education Department exists to present educational alternatives to Ute tribal members of all ages. The Department believes it is possible for each individual to maximize their potential while being productive contributors to Tribal tradition and customs. By providing guidance, career opportunities, and support services, the Department will enable tribal members to understand, appreciate and excel in business, industry, or a career of their choice. The protection and development of all Ute people and the preservation of all natural resources is the Department’s ultimate mission.




Youth Discovery Inc

Youth Discovery Inc (YDI) works with schools, community organizations, and individuals to develop and implement programs that help multicultural and underserved youth discover and achieve their highest potential. To help youth succeed, YDI focuses on providing long-term involvement, mentors and positive role models, cultural and identity development, academic support, leadership opportunities, outdoor activities, and employment.

To provide these services, YDI partners with several programs including the Diversity Initiative, Latinos in Action, ESL Discovery, Bilingual Youth Corps, High School Mentors, MESA Outdoors, and VISTA Volunteers.