Class of 2021 Completes Accelerate, GSSM’s Virtual Engineering Program

May 24, 2021

HARTSVILLE, SC ─ Thirty-one in the sixth graduating class of Accelerate, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science + Mathematics’ (GSSM) virtual engineering program, received their certificates of completion on Saturday, May 15, 2021.

These students represent fifteen South Carolina high schools: Belton-Honea Path High School in Honea Path, James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, D.W. Daniel High School in Central, Green Charter High School in Greenville, Greenville Senior High School in Greenville, Lexington High School in Lexington, North Augusta High School in North Augusta, Orangeburg High School for Health Professions in Orangeburg, Pickens High School in Pickens, Powdersville High School in Greenville, River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Aiken High School in Aiken, South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, White Knoll High School in Lexington, and Wren High School in Piedmont.

The completion ceremony was designed to celebrate their achievements and successful completion of this one-of-a-kind, three-year engineering program. Watch the full ceremony at the bottom of this page or on GSSM’s Youtube Channel.

Originally launched with private support, Accelerate is currently funded through the South Carolina General Assembly and corporate partnerships. The program emphasizes 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 they have spent the last three years completing live online interactive classes, as well as participating in Saturday Academic Experiences, science labs, and annual week-long summer camps. The seniors end the program with a presentation of their engineering capstone project; many of which address some of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering for the 21st Century.

“Successfully completing the GSSM Accelerate program is an impressive accomplishment for these young scholars. The knowledge and understanding they developed in STEM subjects over the past three years will be very beneficial. These students have worked very hard!”, said Randall LaCross, GSSM Sr. Vice President for Virtual and Outreach. “Their senior projects were a demonstration of what they have learned about engineering and how to apply the knowledge they have gained during the program. We wish them the best and look forward to hearing about their future accomplishments.”