The 16 students in the inaugural class of Accelerate, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics’ (GSSM) virtual engineering program, received their certificates of completion on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the Palmetto Club in Columbia.
The students represent five South Carolina high schools: River Bluff High School in Lexington, J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, D.W. Daniel High School in Central, Summerville High School in Summerville and Lexington High School in Lexington.
Ninety-four percent of the students will attend South Carolina colleges and universities in the fall.
The award and recognition ceremony was designed to celebrate their achievements and successful completion of this one-of-a-kind, three-year engineering program.
Originally launched with private support, Accelerate is currently funded through a combination of corporate partnerships and funds from the South Carolina General Assembly. The program stresses mastery of the foundational tools of engineering, such as physics, calculus and chemistry, but also places significant emphasis on real-world, team-based projects, creativity and communication.
These Accelerate students completed a formal application process to be invited into the program and have spent the last three years taking live, online classes, as well as participating in Saturday Experiences, science labs, and annual week-long summer camps. Many of their projects were based on the Grand Challenges for Engineering from the National Academy of Engineering.
“We are so proud of what our inaugural class has been able to do through Accelerate,” said Dr. Karen Den Braven, GSSM Director of Engineering Programs. “These students have worked incredibly hard over the past three years and we’re excited to see what is in store for them as they continue to pursue their engineering education.”
Pictured above from left to right: Top Row – Sarah Smith, Will Allee, T. McGowan Long, Jr., Henry Moore, Dylan Blyth, Kyle Wolf, Sean Lam and Mitchell T. Cook. Bottom Row – McKenzie Fletcher, Weston Belk, Emily Weick, Chloe A. Bryan, Avery Fischer, Cierra Ketchel and Raveen Jaysinghe. Not pictured: Brock Stephan.