[Source: Jared Hill, University of Arizona] — Not too many incoming eighth-grade students are familiar with optics concepts — such as reflection, infrared and ultraviolet light and the electromagnetic spectrum — but for a number of underserved middle school students in southern Arizona, they know these concepts as well as their locker combinations. The GEAR UP Hands-On Optics (HOO) camp is a University of Arizona summer program intended to help underserved incoming eighth-grade students from the Tucson and Sunnyside Unified School Districts prepare for college. Through activities and field trips, students got to learn about optics, careers and how to improve their math, science, reading and literacy skills.
This is the first year of the camp, which ran for three weeks. All expenses were paid and lunch was provided for the students at the UA Student Union Memorial Center. The camp was designated through a collaborative effort between the UA