Launch Pad

COVID-19: With the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront of our decision making, this year’s Launch Pad program will be held virtually July 5 - 25. While we will miss having the students at GSSM this summer, we pledge to offer the same high quality education and create a community atmosphere throughout the program.

Launch Pad is GSSM’s highly successful summer bridge program traditionally held the last three weeks in July. Approximately 35 incoming juniors participate in this enrichment opportunity designed to bolster students’ math knowledge before beginning our fast-paced curriculum in the fall. We know a strong foundation in math is essential to successful completion of our rigorous STEM curriculum.

Students will also experience additional academics and guidance beyond math: English classes, Chemistry lab work and discussions about organizational skills and time management will provide a clear understanding of our overall academic expectations, along with skills to manage it all. Classes are taught by GSSM faculty, and recent GSSM graduates assist students throughout the program.

Launch Pad is not all academics! Tours of downtown Hartsville, scavenger hunts, soccer games, talent shows, and weekend excursions are just some of the fun events held throughout Launch Pad.

Launch Pad is a residential program: all students stay at GSSM throughout the three weeks. The cafeteria is open and provides a fine variety of options throughout the camp. Residence hall staff provide guidance and supervision on nights and weekends.

Academics

Participants will take Advanced Math; this course will help prepare students for their transition to GSSM by strengthening their mathematical foundation. Students will be introduced to problem solving strategies, develop their quantitative reasoning skills, review key algebraic concepts, and have plenty of time to work on problems alone and with peers.  Successful completion of the course will earn students .5 high school credits and help them hit the ground running this fall.

Students will also experience additional academics and guidance beyond math: English classes, Chemistry lab work and discussions about organizational skills and time management will provide a clear understanding of the expectations and rigor of the fall curriculum, along with skills to manage it all.

Cost

There is no cost for attending Launch Pad. We provide room (two students per room), meals, books, and supplies. Students will need only modest amounts of money for incidental, personal expenses. We ask only that students commit to spending three weeks on campus, including weekends, and work hard as they embrace life as a Govie. Launch Pad is part of our commitment to helping all students succeed at GSSM.

Living Arrangements

All Launch Pad students live in the GSSM residence halls. They are supervised by recent GSSM students – Student Assistants – and professional residence life staff.

Nights and Weekends

Launch Pad is not all academics! We’ll also enjoy outings to Hartsville’s favorite student destinations, weekend fun excursions, and social interactions. Since this is a residential program – students will live in our residence halls - evenings and weekends will help students learn the art of living in a collaborative community of students from throughout South Carolina.

Selection

Selection for Launch Pad is based on a careful review of several factors including each incoming student’s standardized math test scores, courses taken and grades earned. Particular attention is given to math preparation; as a STEM school, we are well aware the significant role a strong foundation in mathematics plays in success throughout our curriculum.

Due to our desire to keep this program fairly small, attendance remains by invitation only.

More Information

For more information about this program, please contact Ms. Kyle Barnett, Director, Center for Academic Success: kbarnett@gssm.k12.sc.us