Crowder GEAR UP sixth and seventh graders tour Oklahoma State University in Stillwater

Fifty-one Crowder GEAR UP students recently traveled to Stillwater to tour Oklahoma State University. Students began the day with lunch inside the Student Union. The lines were long as numerous college students were released from morning classes. Crowder students were in awe of all the dining options. The hour lunch went by quickly as they gathered for the official tour of campus.

Students began the tour on the fourth floor of the Student Union with a welcome presentation including an informational video about OSU. The video was awesome and highlighted clubs, organizations, activities and the overall campus feel from a student’s perspective. The fifteen-minute video also talked about study abroad options, homecoming events, the over 200 majors and what it means to be an OSU Cowboy.

Next students split into smaller groups to walk the one square mile campus. OSU tour guide Carli Curtis took students through the Edmon Low Library. The massive facility features the largest computer lab on campus, free 3D printing, as well as laptops, tablets and go-pros for students to check out. The library is open on a 24/5 schedule where students have access 24 hours each day during the workweek. The library is designed to get quieter as you move up each floor. This allows students to focus, study and work on assignments as needed for their learning style.

Oklahoma State University is known for their engineering programs. The university has twenty engineering programs including Aerospace, Biosystems, Fire Protection and Safety and Mechanical Engineering. OSU is expanding the engineering facilities on campus with a new Engineering Building. The campus is always under construction to allow for growth of programs and to recruit new students.

The last stop on the tour was the athletic facilities. Students went inside the Gallagher-Iba Arena and walked onto the basketball court. The student ratio inside this arena is known to be the closest to the court and players within the NCAA. Players like Kevin Durant have said it was one of the hardest courts to play on because the student sections are so close to the court and the volume is off the charts. Seating is also very steep since they didn’t have the room to expand out when adding to the arena; instead they went up.

After the basketball arena, students toured the OSU Athletic Heritage Hall, OSU’s Hall of Fame, to see the vast history OSU brings to various sports on campus. OSU holds the most national championships in the Big 12, with a large number of those in wrestling. Crowder students also walked out onto OSU’s football field inside Boone Pickens Stadium. This was an absolute treat! The field is immaculate and though it was a windy day students enjoyed learning more about the university and programs.

“Oklahoma State features so much history in our state’s story. I was thrilled to take Crowder students to see one of our largest state universities for their first GEAR UP field trip,” said Rachael Ranallo, GEAR UP Education Coordinator.

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

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