News & Highlights
ACT Testing in Utah and College Admissions
Most students in Utah take the ACT test in their junior year of high school. While not required by all colleges, the ACT may help you gain scholarships. Some colleges look at a combination of ACT scores and your GPA. Taking the ACT more than once in high ...
How GEAR UP Schools Connect to Students and Families
As our USU GEAR UP schools continue working in a virtual environment with middle and high school students, we asked the site coordinators at each school to share with us how they continue to maintain communication, build a college-going culture, and plan ...
Making the Most of Virtual Campus Tours
Campus tours and presentations from college staff are familiar activities for most GEAR UP students. With campus visits unlikely in the coming months, here are some ways for students and families to make the most of virtual campus tours and video chats to...
Video Highlights Free Online Resources
A short, animated video has been created to give you an overview of the free resources available to students and families.Utah State University STARS! GEAR UP created a list that includes internet access, study help, college advice, online tutoring, and v...
Advice on Building a Successful Scholarship Application Process
American Preparatory Academy has been a partner of the USU STARS! program since Utah State University received its first GEAR UP grant in 2012. GEAR UP partners are committed to increasing high school graduation rates while guiding academically-prepared s...
Free Educational Resources to Help You Learn from Home
The USU STARS! UP program is growing a list of free resources to help you stay connected, educated, and informed during this time at home. There are countless products and tools available. We have compiled a short curated list to assist the many and varie...
Charging Up Teachers at GEAR UP Science Day 2020
Students at Gunnison Valley High School are already using the lessons their teachers collected from last month’s GEAR UP Science Day. Maria Squire, GVHS parent liaison, attended and returned with many of these lessons and materials for the teachers at her...
Site Coordinator Spotlight: Michelle in South Sanpete District
GEAR UP helps students see what is possible for their future. The activities and resources supported by USU GEAR UP have a direct impact on the students in our partner schools. During the 2019-2020 school year over 13,000 students in 20 middle, junior hig...
Students Learn Engineering Process While Building Greenpower Car
Spring is Greenpower season at many USU GEAR UP schools. Building a Greenpower car offers students the chance to use engineering and technology skills outside the classroom. A recent Siemens Solid Edge blog story featured American Preparatory Academy stud...
Sign Up Now for Summer Camps and College Bus Tours!
Utah State University STARS! GEAR UP offers numerous programs and activities during the school year to enhance learning and college readiness. In addition to our popular summer camps, we have now added two spring break college bus tours to our 2020 line-u...
One Field Trip, Three Great Destinations
Students at Kennedy Jr. High School (KJHS) in the Granite School District had the opportunity to go on an educational, career, and college visit all wrapped into one field trip. In mid-November, over 300 students went to the Utah Pioneer Museum, the Utah ...
Granite District Jr. High Student Earns $1,000 For College
GEAR UP and its partners do make a difference in students’ lives. Inspired by GEAR UP Week, a student from Hunter Junior High School in the Granite School District applied for her first scholarship. She designed a winning bookmark and now she has a 529 co...
High School Teacher Goes Beyond Books
We know that summer camps and activities have a direct impact on students, but a story published by Utah State University featured Clearfield High School teacher Jill Kennedy. She took learning to the next level by bringing summer camp activities back to ...
New Video Explains the GEAR UP Match Requirements
This short, four-minute animated video is now available to help you better understand what match is and why it is important. It uses clear and concise examples and visuals to help explain the match requirements of the grant and build a sustainable college...
Putting Students on the Path to Success
Over 13,000 students received services through the USU STARS! GEAR UP program during the previous school year. Reports show that over 90% of the students in grants two and three have been involved in one or more services every year. In addition to encoura...
Parent Perspectives on GEAR UP: University IS in Her Future
Our newest video, released in October 2019, introduces our local GEAR UP program through the perspective of program directors and parents. It explores what the program offers students, partnerships with schools, and the impact that it is having on student...
Supporting Latinx Student Success
Videos are resources to help students and their families learn about the USU STARS! GEAR UP program and how it can help them. With a growing population of Latinx students in the communities we serve, we’ve released a new video in Spanish, along with instr...
Governor Declares GEAR UP Week in Utah
Gov. Gary Herbert has declared the week of Sept. 23-27 GEAR UP Week in Utah. The proclamation coincides with the celebration of National GEAR UP Week 2019.
GEAR UP Week Launches on Sept 23
National GEAR UP Week is taking place the week of September 23 this year. Schools in the USU STARS! program are encouraged to participate. Here are some ideas to get started!
Granite Gets into Summer Learning
Granite school district's first summer with USU STARS! GEAR UP was a major success for eight junior high schools. Take a deeper look at the summer activities students from Granite participated in - from college tours to coding and much more in between.
Bringing Biology to Life for Middle School Students
While at Biology in Life camp, students visited health professional programs at Weber State University, as well as applied agriculture, science, and engineering labs at USU.
GEAR UP NCE Project: A Bridge to Completion
USU STARS! GEAR UP will continue to serve students belonging to grant one thanks to a no-cost extension approved for the program. The remaining funds will be used to offer resources to help recent high school graduates bridge the gap to college.
Engineering Camp Leads Students to Explore New Ideas
Engineering Camp brings high school students and their teachers together to explore engineering topics with professors, graduate and undergraduate students at Utah State University.
Transition Camp: To High School and Beyond
Now in its fifth year, 153 students, 30 mentors, and 20 chaperones made 2019 Transition Camp a success. We talked with Ephraim Middle School teacher Becca Proper to see what she thought of the camp, as a first-time chaperone.
USU Hosts Students for Middle-to-High School Transition Camp
USU STARS! Transition Camp 2019 was featured in local news media. The article highlights events, programs, and sponsors of the camp and talks with students, getting their thoughts on what they liked best at camp.
Fostering STEM and Leadership Skills in GEAR UP Summer Camps
The USU STARS! GEAR UP program provides students with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) readiness experiences, and partnered with FOCUS Training to cultivate leadership and team building skills at Engineering Camp and Game Changer Camp thi...
Graduation Rates Up and More Students Going to College in GEAR UP Schools
As the first STARS! GEAR UP grant comes to an end, students are 3 times more likely to go to and complete their first year of college, and many of these students have taken advanced science and math courses while in high school to prepare them for college...
'Driven To Succeed' Radio Series Features GEAR UP Students
Listen to our 7th-year STARS! GEAR UP students talk about their college experiences and future goals as they design and build a Greenpower single-seat electric car with the help of mentors from USU’s Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center in this U...
Homelessness Closer to Home: Nurturing Student Success
Schools today face a variety of challenges that hold their students back, such as access to food and shelter. This story tells about the experiences of one student in the STARS! GEAR UP program and the support that may help this student succeed.
2019 Greenpower Electric Car Challenge
Read all the news and media about this year’s event, our largest ever, that grew to include 24 teams of Goblin and F24 cars, showcasing the work of 18 schools in Utah, and one in Nevada.
Granite Schools Have GEAR’ed UP to Help Students
Matheson, Kennedy, and Hunter are a few of the eight junior high schools in the Granite School District to have joined the program this past fall and are now offering student access to peer mentoring, new programs, and tours of Utah colleges.
Motivating Students Through More Activities
Helping a student become motivated about their education is one of the most rewarding experiences for educators. Often, this is achieved through non-traditional activities in and out of the classroom. Here are several stories of how our USU STARS! site co...
Bridging the Gap: Mentors Connect HS to College
USU STARS! GEAR UP is dedicated to helping students make a successful transition from high school to college. Learn about a new USU STARS! GEAR UP position aimed at helping students overcome the challenges associated with bridging the gap between high sch...
Workshop Inspires Science Teachers to Do and Learn
In early February science teachers from across Utah attended a workshop sponsored by USU STARS! GEAR UP to learn new activities that they can take back to their classrooms and share with their students.
Partners in Education: Granite goes to JA City
Granite Park Junior High School's site coordinator shares a story of how his students were able to apply skills they learned through AVID while attending Junior Achievement City at the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum.
Site Coordinators Share Success Stories in Their Schools
It is clear from the feedback that we have received from our site coordinators since the start of the school year that everyone has been busy. This article highlights success stories our site coordinators are sharing from some of the schools we serve.
Registration Open for Summer Camps!
Utah State University STARS! GEAR UP will host five camps on the Logan campus this summer. Registration is now open to students and we recommend applying as soon as possible!
Logan High Adds LatinX Outreach Programs
Parent-liaisons with USU STARS! GEAR UP at Logan High School are reaching out to the LatinX community and Spanish-speaking parents with two new community programs.
Greenpower Car Challenge Resources: GEAR UP University
Many of you may be familiar with John Devitry. He is the creator of the GEAR UP University, a resource for students and teachers on Siemens Solid Edge Training...
Student Spotlight – Misael Nava, First Year College Student at USU
While many students don’t start thinking about college until their final year of high school, former APA student Misael Nava started preparing in 8th grade.
College Readiness at Wendover High School
The USU STARS! GEAR UP program at Wendover High School is changing lives in big and small ways. Site Coordinator Alan Rowley shared some successes and stories. Last spring, 13 of 24 GEAR UP students enrolled in colleges and universities.
Area Teachers Attend TI Workshop
Teachers from USU STARS! GEAR UP partner schools recently participated in a one-day Texas Instruments professional development workshop. TI partners with GEAR UP programs across the country to give teachers training in math, science, and STEM-technology u...
LHS Student Wins National Science Competition
USU STARS! GEAR UP student Gary Zhan was featured in the news recently for advancing to a national science competition.
USU STARS! Receives $16.9M GEAR UP Grant To Increase College Enrollments
Utah State University STARS! has been awarded $16.9 million over seven years to help middle and high school students in Salt Lake County prepare to enter and succeed in college.
Greenpower Challenge Advances STEM Education in Utah
Building on the success of the Greenpower Electric Car Challenge in spring 2018, the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, with has partnered with Utah State University’s STARS! GEAR UP program to provide three Greenpower Electric Car kits to qual...
USU STARS! Ute Tribe Students Visit USU Campus
GEAR UP Site Coordinator Kameron Murray came to Utah State University with 12 of our Uintah River High School students and some former students who attended other high schools after leaving Eagle View Elementary School.
The 2018 Summer Newsletter is Available Now
Here at USU STARS! GEAR UP, we look for any opportunity to encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education. One of the ways we do this is by hosting on-campus experiences for our students. Summer camps are one of the ways that we promote positive pre-co...
Summer 2018 Newsletter: Space Quest
Space Quest, a one-week STEM-focused workshop, was the newest camp launched this summer. USU STARS! GEAR UP partnered with Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) to bring 24 students entering 10th grade to USU. With the help of Sara Richardson, Systems Engineer ...
Summer 2018 Newsletter: Smart-Girl
USU STARS! GEAR UP partnered with the Center for Women and Gender at Utah State University to offer a Smart-Girl Summer Camp for 27 students entering 8th and 9th grade. These Mt. Logan Middle School students met on the USU Logan campus from June 25-27 to ...
Summer 2018 Newsletter: Engineering Camp
This year, USU STARS! GEAR UP teamed up with environment engineering faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students for the third straight year to put on an education-filled week for camp-goers. In addition to experiencing campus life, Engineering Camp off...
Summer 2018 Newsletter: Transition Camp
This past June, 183 Utah students came from as far away as Gunnison and Ephraim to attend the USU STARS! GEAR UP Transition Camp. The camp, formally known as Big Blue Journey, targets students entering the ninth grade, and has two purposes, to inspire pos...
Snowboarding Pioneer to Speak at USU Sept. 25
USU STARS! will celebrate National GEAR UP Week 2018 by bringing motivational speaker and pioneering snowboard mountaineer, Stephen Koch, to Logan for two days to speak with local GEAR UP students at Logan High School and at Utah State University.
Utah Youth Environmental Summit
Learn details about, and see how you can get involved with this year's Utah Youth Environmental Summit.
After the FAFSA
NCCEP has put together a fantastic webinar designed specifically for parents and educators in order to help them sort through the many documents that come along with college, financial aid, and future plans for students.
Video: Utah Greenpower Electric Car Challenge 2018
Take a look at how this year's Greenpower exhibition went for our GEAR UP students!
KHS helps students GEAR UP
Faculty members from the Kinesiology and Health Science Department at USU recently hosted a group of high school students from Wendover, Nevada. “It is a lot of fun to have them visit us here,” said Dennis Dolny, the KHS department head. “Our professors e...
Ask an Engineer
Read our interview Dr. Wade Goodridge, an engineering professor at Utah State University who teaches statics, the first mechanics course required by many engineering students. Dr. Goodridge, who has two engineering Bachelor of Science degrees, as well as ...
Paying for College is Possible
Watch this video of Llely Duarte talking about how she paid for college. As a local Salt Lake City student, she found ways to take college classes in high school, apply for scholarships, and even fund half of her education by working with a professor on c...
Five Tips to Help You Learn to Love Learning
Learning in school is more than memorizing dates, formulas, and equations. Learning is essential to cognitive development, improving skill sets, and developing new skill sets that will benefit college and career paths. Learning can cultivate a sense of pr...
Guidebook for Parents of the College Bound
Affordable Colleges Online created a guide to help ease the transition process by addressing the common first-year challenges for parents and their children. The guide helps parents prepare for the high-school to college transition; explores the financial...
Five Tips to Help You Succeed in School
Success in school is more than just good grades. A good measure of success is how well you are understanding and applying what you learn. Whether you are still in high school or soon entering college, USU STARS! GEAR UP wants to ensure the success of ever...
Five Tips for Making the Most of Your Reading
Reading is an essential skill. Developing critical reading habits and skills will help you in school, the workplace, and life in general. We have collected some basic tips and habits that you can begin implementing to enhance your reading experiences.
2017 Year in Review
View videos of the many USU STARS! GEAR UP successes in this collection. In addition to summer camps, other events such as the Greenpower and the NASA Downlink where students participated in the once in a lifetime opportunity of conversing directly to ast...
Expansion of USU STARS! GEAR UP
The USU STARS! GEAR UP Program has received great news! Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year we have been awarded an additional grant. This is the beginning of the third cohort for USU STARS! and will allow us to continue to help students grow by prep...
In the world of engineering there are many paths one could take. You could explore civil engineering and what it takes to maintain society's infrastructure. You could learn how to build better computers and software, helping to shape the future of technol...
GEAR UP Parent Summit 2016
Last month we had the privilege of hosting a fantastic group of our GEAR UP parents at the Utah State University campus. The GEAR UP program is focused on improving the futures of our students by helping to enhance their education and prepare them for col...
Logan High Tracks Monarch Butterflies
This fall USU STARS! GEAR UP students at Logan High School (LHS) have been learning all about the life cycle, habitat and migration of butterflies as their classroom has become a monarch habitat. Shaunda Wenger, a biology teacher at LHS
2016 Youth Leadership Summit
This year USU STARS! GEAR UP had several students who were able to attend Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) in Washington DC. These students received leadership training in a number of areas and are now better equipped to become community leaders
GEAR UP Engineering Camp 2016
USU STARS! GEAR UP hosted two Engineering Camps for their 8th grade students over the past two weeks. While attending, students stayed on the Utah State University campus. They were fully immersed in a college life environment to help prepare them for the...
USU STARS! in the News
GEAR UP USU STARS! is in the news! See how our students are making an impact in our schools all around the state of Utah.
ACT Test Preparation
The ACT is one of the most recognized college admissions tests available today. There are testing locations in the US & abroad. One of the most important reasons to take the test is that it can help you get into the college of your choice.
USU STARS! Media Contact
Information for contacting the USU STARS! media and public relations representatives.