GSSM’s Gordon Brown Named STEM Teacher of the Year by South Carolina Academy of Sciences

April 1, 2024

CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 1, 2024) – South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) chemistry instructor, Dr. Gordon Brown, was recently recognized as the state’s STEM Teacher of the Year by the South Carolina Academy of Sciences (SCAS). 

Dr. Brown’s teaching philosophy emphasizes hands-on learning experiences, with a focus on student-directed laboratory experiments and guided inquiry group activities. He also leads a research program in microwave spectroscopy, providing students with authentic research opportunities. Dr. Brown, who has been an instructor at GSSM for six years, echo’s the SCAS’s mission as the organization encourages the advancement and use of sciences in the Palmetto State. 

"Chemistry is a challenging subject," GSSM President Danny Dorsel said. "Dr. Brown’s approach to teaching it not only makes challenging concepts accessible to students but also engages them in such a way that they want to know the ‘why’ behind the concepts.  Dr. Brown’s personality, dedication and instructional methods inspire students to want to further their studies in chemistry."  

Dr. Brown’s dedication to teaching and passion for chemistry has made him a beloved figure among students and colleagues. He currently teaches Principles of Chemistry, Dual Enrollment Chemistry, and Research in Microwave Spectroscopy, drawing from his extensive background in academia and research. 

"What inspired me to pursue a career in chemistry, particularly at GSSM, was that I've always been interested in the atoms and molecules that make up the world around us," Dr. Brown said. "I was drawn to GSSM because of the excellent students and great colleagues. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to engage students in research as part of my job here." 

Students who take Dr. Brown’s classes learn beyond the classroom, which is evident in his active engagement in collaborative projects with local industries and research institutions. Dr. Brown's commitment to offering unique learning opportunities has earned him recognition as a leader in STEM education. 

"Students learn science by doing science," Dr. Brown said. “In teaching the course Research in Microwave Spectroscopy, I get to mentor my students and walk them through the full scientific process. They choose a chemical of interest, measure its microwave spectrum, analyze that spectrum to uncover the shape of the molecule, and present their findings on and off campus.” 

Dr. Brown remains committed to enriching the educational experience of his students and contributing to STEM education initiatives in South Carolina. His unwavering passion for teaching continues to greatly impact the lives of students and colleagues. 

"It's a privilege to teach advanced chemistry courses at GSSM," Dr. Brown said. "The students are so motivated and curious, that it makes my job fun. Every year, I get new, interesting questions from students that I've never received before." 

Dr. Brown, originally from Richmond, VA, holds a Bachelor of Science from the College of William and Mary and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. Since joining GSSM in 2018, he has been a vital part of the institution's academic community.