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Making an Impact

Gear Up Maryland is designed to have an impact on the development of our next generation of thinkers, creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Students and mentors will share resources and knowledge within an inquiry-based learning environment. Gear Up fosters imagination, design, prototyping, invention and problem-solving. Our heuristics (hands on) approach to learning allows students to work with tools and understand mechanical concepts. STEAM learning concepts (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math) will focus on automotive engineering in a teamwork environment.

Through our education programs, Gear Up Maryland will help students discover new opportunities for learning and potential career paths. This cognitive foundation will provide real life skills, shared values, and respect for others.

Your generous gift goes directly towards Maryland students’ alternative education. Your generous donation provides our students with the opportunity to succeed and become engaged community members.

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Making a Difference

Read what our students, teachers, and parents are saying about Gear Up Maryland and its CEO,  Wayne Nicolette.

A Student's Voice

Wayne is a gateway for kids like me to know more about STEAM. He has made sure that when he teaches about STEAM, people remember them and hopefully pass his teachings off to the next generation. He is the person who will push you to hopefully become a person who has passion and ambition.

– Keon

A Parent's Voice

I really like that Gear Up Maryland offers automotive engineering programs that help children to start thinking outside of the box. It opens their minds to an array of job opportunities and career paths that they otherwise would not be introduced to. These types of programs just are not available in the public schools. My son really loves how Wayne teaches using hands-on activities and he shows genuine interest in his workshops.

– Ms. Gladden

A Teacher's Voice

Wayne epitomizes STEAM. Everything that he creates follows the Engineer Design Process. He encourages students to realize that STEAM is not just a course but a way of life. He guides them to finding what they are truly passionate about.

– Don Dunphy

Where We Work

Across three counties (Baltimore, Hartford, and Anne Arundel) and seventeen school districts, we are turning your generosity into opportunity for young learners. Find out more about our impact in each district by exploring the links below.


Percentage of graduates with student loan debt


U.S. students ranked only 40th out of 73 countries in math literacy


Unemployment rate for people without a high school degree


Percentage of college graduates enduring sustained underemployment


Number of vocational scholarships currently offered in the United States


Number of construction jobs currently available in the United States


Percentage of public school districts that offered CTE programs in 2017


Average cost savings by earning a trade school degree over a bachelor’s degree


Average Salary for an Automotive Technician

$10 vs $24

Earnings per hour for unskilled vs. skilled tradesperson


Number of vocational students who found first long-term job within a month of finishing their studies

30 million

Number of jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree

Beneficiary Organizations and Dynamic Partnerships

We believe that dynamic partnerships are critical to educating our community. We see potential partnerships from corporations to foundations to individuals, who share our commitment with developing and supporting Maryland’s youth. We are committed to increase these connections in the community and add additional partners who can help us prepare our students for the future — by instilling their confidence to challenge, inquire, and Gear Up!

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