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Citadel News Service

For Release
June 10, 2002

Citadel to host statewide GEAR UP academic olympics

          Nearly 150 middle school students from Charleston and other South Carolina cities will converge on The Citadel campus Friday to compete for prizes and trophies in the GEAR UP Summer Academic Olympics.

          GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, aims to prepare 7th graders for college through academic tutoring and support in science, mathematics, language, literature, computer and technology and art and music. Academic support continues through participants' senior year of high school.

          GEAR UP is funded with grants from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Throughout the academic year, students take part in Saturday academies and each summer they attend a day camp

          This year, students from GEAR UP programs at the University of South Carolina Columbia and Aiken, Midlands Technical College, College of Charleston, Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Denmark Technical College and The Citadel will compete in math, spelling and science contests.

          "Most of the GEAR UP students are in camps right now, but this is an opportunity for them to do something fun and exciting while still working on their academics," said GEAR UP Director Wendell Rodgers.

          The competition begins at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14 at The Citadel's Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave. Representatives of the GEAR UP program, The Citadel, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and U.S. Department of Education will welcome the competitors. At 10:30 a.m. the math competition begins and will be followed by a spelling bee at 11:15 a.m. and science competition at 11:45 a.m.

          The Straw Tower Engineering Activity will be the visual highlight of the competition. Students will build towers out of drinking straws. The strongest tower will win the contest.

          An awards ceremony will conclude the day's activities at 12:15 p.m.

          For more information about the GEAR UP program, contact Wendell Rodgers at 843-953-5098 or The Citadel Public Affairs Office at 953-2155.

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