The Governor's School for Science & Mathematics was founded in 1988 under the leadership of former Governor Carroll Campbell and Charles W. Coker, then-president of Sonoco Products Company.

Our Mission

GSSM seeks out and advances our state’s most talented and motivated students, offering a transforming education in science, mathematics, and engineering that cultivates joy in learning and builds the confidence to engage as ethical leaders with the world’s most significant issues.


When GSSM was established in 1988, the School resided on the campus of Coker College in Hartsville. In 2003, the School and its 128 students moved down the street to a new, state-of-the-art building capable of housing 288 students. In 2010, two new wings were added: the James Lucas Academic Center, featuring more than 22 classroom and laboratory facilities, and the Gerald Malloy Activity Center, which includes a gymnasium, weight room, movie viewing room, engineering projects center, fully-equipped kitchen, game room and space for students to relax. GSSM has consistently maintained the 10:1 student-teacher ratio, world class faculty and innovative curriculum during the expansion efforts. In 2015, the school reached maximum capacity of 288 students.

Shortly after its founding, GSSM made good on its mission to impact students around the state through its Outreach programs. Outreach delivers high-quality programs to students in elementary to high school grade at its campus in Hartsville, schools around the state, and virtually. Programs like PASE provide South Carolina teachers with state-of-the-art equipment, training, and standards-based lesson plans to use with their own students year round.

In 2013, GSSM launched Accelerate, a collegiate engineering program available to students through partner school districts around the state. Through their 10th-12th grade years, Accelerate students take courses taught by GSSM instructors in advanced mathematics, engineering, physics, chemistry, and English without leaving their home high school. Upon completion, many graduates have completed all the requirements for the first year of their university engineering programs.

In response to the 2019 COVID pandemic, the school expanded virtual instruction and in 2021, it leveraged this experience into STEM Foundations, an online program that offers students the option of earning a GSSM diploma at home.

Since 64 students in the charter class walked onto campus in 1988, the footprint of GSSM's impact has grown to serving over 4,000 students each year. 

Using innovative remote learning strategies and outreach initiatives like the GSSM Elementary STEAM Bus, the school continues to explore ways to bring world-class STEM experiences to students in all grades throughout the state.

Envisioning the Future

In January 2018, the GSSM Board of Trustees approved a new strategic plan, which provides a blueprint for GSSM to reach and serve more students, provide more opportunities, and prepare more future leaders in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering for South Carolina. GSSM will be recognized as a national leader in K-12 science and mathematics education, known for developing students who are exceptionally well-prepared to engage in global issues as creative and ethical leaders.