Math Blast Off

GEAR UP Math Blast Off is an annual summer math head start program that takes place on UTC's campus and serves the Chattanooga GEAR UP cohort. Prospective volunteers can find information about our opportunities below: 

Program Goals:

  • Improve GEAR UP students’ high school graduation rate and rate of enrollment in post-secondary programs
  • Prepare students for their upcoming fall math classes
  • Offer students the opportunity to connect with a college student mentor
  • Teach students about discipline, diligence, and hard work – all while having fun!

Dates and Times:

GEAR UP Math Blast Off dates will be announced as soon as we know them!


We will provide you lunch every day, plus a T-shirt and several chances to toss eggs in our Olympics, bend over backwards in limbo contests, rope up on the climbing wall and sample freely from the GEAR UP playbook.  And of course, there's the main thing – you’d be giving some hard-working underserved students a college experience that would be unforgettable & will inspire them to do the hard work it will take for them to get to college.

Role of Mentors:

  • Lead a group of four to six rising 10th & 11th grade students each afternoon
  • Guide students through a series of campus and community activities designed to make them feel at home on a college campus
  • Assist in raising students' self-confidence by placing them in unfamiliar and challenging situations in which they can discover the satisfaction of learning new skills


Some of the program's afternoon activities include:

  • A campus scavenger hunt
  • Writing and performing a skit for the entire group
  • The GEAR UP Olympics (involving egg toss, limbo, wheelbarrow race and similar games)
  • A visit to the climbing wall at Coolidge Park
  • Swimming in the ARC

Volunteer Applications:

If you are interested in volunteering for Math Blast Off, stay tuned for more information as we prepare for the upcoming year.

 You can either fill out an electronic copy of our application (available below) and email it to our staff, print off a paper copy of the application and turn it in to the GEAR UP office, or you can come pick up a paper copy of the application at the GEAR UP office.


Mentor Application  


The GEAR UP office is located in the Doctor’s Building on McCallie Avenue, across the street from the Yellow Deli.  As you come in the front door of the building, the GEAR UP office will be at the end of the hallway on your right.  Please see Stanley Young, who will be coordinating the Blast Off program.  Stanley is in and out of his office; send him an email to let him know when you’re coming.