Research & Inquiry

GSSM provides its students with unique learning opportunities through these mentored experiences.

Govie working at a dissecting microscope in a biomedical research lab.

Research that Matters

Real world research is a part of every Govie's experience.

From the start, Govies have been making significant contributions to real world research projects.

Govies work side by side with professional researchers in labs at universities, businesses, and government agencies across the state and the world - including right here on the GSSM campus. We're so serious about research, we made it a graduation requirement.

Scroll down to learn more about GSSM's exciting research & inquiry opportunities.

Mentored Summer Research

Six weeks of immersive, real world research working with professional researchers.

Every Govie has the opportunity to participate in a summer research experience mentored by academics and professionals across South Carolina, the country, and the world. They compile and analyze their research findings, prepare formal research papers, and present their work at the GSSM Research Colloquium.

For six weeks during the summer between junior and senior years, Govies join research groups at universities, businesses, and government agencies across South Carolina, the United States, and the world. Govies work with their research mentors and GSSM faculty during their senior year to complete their research & inquiry portfolio and present at the GSSM Research Colloquium.

Through this distinctive program, GSSM students gain direct and practical experience with the process of research as applied in real world contexts. GSSM students become familiar with the methods of discovery, apply critical thinking skills, and learn to creatively overcome challenges. 

Mentored summer research & inquiry experiences are required for Govies in the residential program and open to Govies in the Accelerate & STEM Foundations programs.

Projects from Recent Govies

Development of Hydroxypropyl Cellulose and PDMS Pressure Sensors

Anna Gray Ashton ‘22 & Eva Godwin '22

University of South Carolina – Lab of Dr. Monirosadat Sadati
Anna Gray & Eva helped develop a process for encasing a polymer that changes color in response to pressure as a way to create colorimetric pressure indicators that could be used for a wide variety of applications.

Optimizing the Creation of an In-House Sintering Aid & Glass Milling

Tremaine Richardson '22 & Stephen Sartor '22

Kyocera AVX – Lab of Dr. Craig Nies
Stephen & Tremaine worked at AVX with GSSM Alum Josh Campbell ’20 to develop methods to more consistently prepare materials for the assembly of capacitors. Josh conducted his GSSM research & inquiry project at AVX in the Summer of 2019.

Rapid Prototyping for Studying Light-Scattering Properties of Materials

Anne Macklin '22

Clemson University Restoration Institute – Lab of Dr. Eric Patterson
Anne used 3D design software & rapid prototyping with 3D printers to develop a stage that can rotate around 3-axes to hold an object for imaging in the light & camera sphere being built by the Patterson group. The information they will collect from this device will help improve our understanding of how materials reflect and absorb light, which will contribute to improvements in digital animation.


School-Year Research & Inquiry

Led by our extraordinary faculty, Govies develop and execute original projects at GSSM during the school year.

GSSM's Residential High School program includes research & inquiry electives in a variety of fields led by GSSM's experience faculty researchers. Research topics have included pharmaceutical design, restoration ecology, computational mathematics, microwave spectroscopy, transportation policy, and controlled environment agriculture in the GSSM Hydroponic Research Lab. Check out our course catalog to see the complete list of research & inquiry advanced electives.

Govies in the Accelerate program develop engineering design projects with the mentorship of GSSM faculty in their senior year. 

STEM Foundations seniors tackle a challenging real world problem like CubeSat design as an R&D team in their Research & Inquiry Capstone course.

Lettuce growing in the GSSM Hydroponic Research Lab

Research Colloquium

For over 30 years, Govies have shared their research projects at GSSM’s Research Colloquium.

The GSSM research & inquiry experience provides Govies with the opportunity for exploration, discovery, and individual growth. Colloquium also reflects the duty of scientists, explorers, and innovators to not only discover, but to effectively communicate that knowledge to others. In this time-honored tradition of science, Colloquium is our opportunity to share, celebrate, and learn as a community.

GSSM's Research Colloquium features student presentations of their research & inquiry projects and the presentation of the Distinguished Research Leadership Award.

Learn More about Colloquium

Front Cover Image Credits (Left to right and top to bottom): Clara Brown '24, Marion Sturkie '24, Corie O'Connell '24, Dahlia Griffin '24, Ann Jiang '24, Helen Lin '24, Tracy Qiu '24, Alanna Gray '24, Alexa Jones '24, Alayna Khoja '24, Phoebe Anagnos '24, Bianca Hylton '24, and Ella Williams '24

"El camino es siempre mejor que la posada.
(The road is always better than the inn.)"

Attributed to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra