Gearing Up for the 2010 LA GEARUP

Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers and Dr. Nanthalia McJamerson , Professors of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction ( College of Education), are in the process of preparing for the upcoming 2010 LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camps. There will be two one week camps that will be held at Grambling State University. The first camp will be held during May 30, 2010 – June 5, 2010, and the second camp will be held during June 13, 2010 to June 19, 2010. Dr. Jaggers and Dr. McJamerson serve as Principal Investigators for a grant that they received from the Louisiana Board of Regents (LA SIP/ LA GEAR UP) for $104,374.00. Initially, Dr. Jaggers and Dr. McJamerson submitted a proposal to the Louisiana Board of Regents (LA SIP/LA GEAR UP) in 2005 and received $37,000.00 for a one week GSU LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camp. Afterwards, Dr. Jaggers and Dr. McJamerson continued to submit proposals and received funding to implement two one week Summer Learning Camps during 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. As a result of Grambling’s involvement in the LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camps, Dr. Loretta Jaggers (Project Director), Dr. Nanthailia McJamerson (Co-Director/Leadership Training Coordinator), and Dr. Elaine Foster (Tutor/Counselor Coordinator), participated in the LA GEAR UP Fall Conference during September 29-30, 2009, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The team presented a multi-media presentation that highlighted the GSU 2009 LA GEAR UP Summer Learning Camp activities and experiences. Additionally, in preparation for the 2010 camps, the GSU LA GEAR UP team will be involved in various meetings and training sessions. Specifically, on April 9-10 the LA GEAR UP camp counselors throughout the state will be involved in the LA GEAR UP Counselor Certification Training at Louisiana Tech University. On April 22-24, 2010, Drs. Jaggers, McJamerson, and Foster will participate in the Statewide LA GEAR UP Project Director’s Meeting and Explorers Club Conference at Louisiana Tech University. Finally, the GSU May 24-28, 2010

What is LA GEAR UP ?

First, in 2002 the U.S. Department of Education awarded a 12.5 million dollar GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant to the State of Louisiana. In 2003 LA GEAR UP introduced Summer Learning Camps. These camps were designed to help students develop and enhance academic and leadership skills needed to help promote success as they complete their post secondary education. Specifically, this initiative focused on the following: 1)Provide stimulating experiences in Math, Science, Technology, and/or English/Language Arts,; 2) Expand career goals and aspirations; 3) Provide information about college that include early planning and financial support services; and 4) combine learning with fun.

As a result of these initiatives, funds became available to implement Summer Learning Camps at universities across the state for middle and high school students.

The GSU Summer Learning Camp
The Grambling State University LA GEAR UP Project is designed to focus on the theme, CSI: Grambling (College Success Investigators). Using CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) projects, campers work collaboratively with their peers and content area specialists to strengthen basic Math, Science, and Reading/Literacy skills. The camp activities are also designed to focus on leadership preparation, Math and Science tutorials and study skills, test-taking strategies, preparation for college life, and career opportunities in Math and Science, and Reading/Literacy skills. GSU collaborated with community agencies/organizations, Louisiana Tech University and ULM University and other LA GEAR universities to plan and implement project activities.

The Grambling LA GEAR UP Project is designed to provide opportunities for middle and high school students to participate in diverse academic, enrichment and recreational activities while enhancing their self-esteem. Specifically, the key academic and enrichment activities include Explorations/classes that focus on forensic investigations while developing and enhancing basic Math, Science, and Reading/Literacy skills. Based on Boreal Laboratory Kits, the four explorations/classes follow: (1) Sherlock Bones: Identification of Skeletal Remains; (2) Theta Technologies Crime Scene II; (3) Terror from Paradise; and (4) Mystery of the Blood Stain. The campers participate in Pathfinder/Financial Assistance Workshop activities that are presented by the State LA GEAR staff, and representatives from the GSU Admissions and Financial Aid Offices. The campers are also exposed to diverse Math and Science careers through participation in the Explorer’s Club activities. The culminating activity on Friday includes a field trip to the Crime Lab in Monroe, Louisiana, and the Natural Science Museum at ULM. (one of our LA GEAR UP partners). The recreational activities include basketball, volleyball, table games at the Grambling High School gym. The camp activities also include Movie Night (Grambling Theater-Favrot Student Union), a Pizza Party, and a pool party.

The Academic Component
The Explorations/Classes were held on Monday through Thursday from 8:00 through 11:45. There are diverse creative instructional strategies resources, activities and several breaks during the instructional process. The activities include role play exercises, critical thinking, writing, and technology infusion activities. The highly creative interactive activities throughout the four explorations were connected to the field trip on Friday. Opportunities were provided for participants to enhance their self-esteem through the use of positive reinforcement.
The summary activities follow for each of the four Explorations:

Sherlock Bones: Identification of Skeletal Remains -The lab activities involve the utilization of actual techniques used in forensics to identify and access skeletal indicators. The students have an opportunity to complete activities at different Science Stations as they apply concepts presented in the instructional process.

Theta Technology Crime Scene II -These activities provide opportunities for students to utilize the materials in the kit to match fiber, fingerprints, analyze blood samples, and use chromatography to help solve the case that is presented in the scenario. Students complete tasks in forensic teams at Science Stations to solve their individual cases.
Terror from Paradise- This Exploration was designed to provide creative interactive activities and diverse resources that focus on solving a case involving terrorists transporting biological weapons to the United States. The students are assigned to FBI Chemistry teams that will collect samples and test for the presence of biological weapons. The teams write summaries about the process used to determine the presence of the biological weapons.

Mystery of the Bloody Stain- Activities are designed to focus on strategies for performing ABO and Rh typing to determine how blood can be used in solving crimes. The activities involved opportunities for the students to work in pairs to solve crimes using blood groups and blood typing.

The 2010 LA GEAR UP Administrative Staff
Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers -Director
Dr. Nanthalia McJamerson Co-Director and Leadership Coordinator
Dr. Ronnie Davis-Assessemnt Coordinator
Dr. Elaine Foster-Tutor/Counselor Coordinator
Ms, Candance Westbrook-Administrative Assistant
Mr. Sheddrick Bradford-Multi-Media Coordinator
Dr. Danny Hubbard-Coordinator, Forensic Experts