From its founding in 1988 by a visionary Act of the General Assembly, GSSM has served as a portal through which talented students from throughout South Carolina have embarked on a lifetime of exploration, discovery and growth. The mission of this unique school emphasizes developing the scientifically astute and ethically aware leaders needed for our expanding knowledge-based economy. Recognized as a leader in the state, GSSM is now concentrating on national prominence with a focus on the global nature of modern science and industry. From the outset, GSSM students and alumni have established a reputation for excellence and accomplishment. GSSM residential students continue to perform at the highest levels. GSSM residential students continue to perform at the highest levels, reflecting the individual talents of these remarkable young people as well as the unique opportunities offered by GSSM. The significant achievements of the students in residence in Hartsville (1369 average SAT, 29 composite ACT scores; 10 National Merit Finalists; $29.6 million in scholarship offers to 129 seniors) are crowned by their completion of a mentored individual research project at a research university or industrial laboratory in the US or internationally. Appropriate emphasis on extracurricular activities for all students continues to build strong school spirit, with 70% of students participating in varsity athletics. Overall, our athletic program ranks in the top 40 in the state for all schools. Additionally, students lead and direct more than 50 clubs and societies, involving 97% of students. Students serve their community and school by volunteering 83 hours each year, supplementing instruction on ethics and character development. Notably, our students mentored members of the Hartsville Boys and Girls Club in math, participated in a pilot global learning experience with a USC School of Medicine professor and One World Health in Costa Rica, and have created several charitable events. Perhaps best of all, students report great satisfaction from forming "friendships for life” at GSSM. As expected, this combination of academic excellence, community commitment, character and hard work results in GSSM graduates being admitted to excellent colleges. While we encourage graduates of both our residential and virtual programs to remain in state, and many do, each year sees admissions to some of the nation’s most selective universities including University of California-Berkeley, Davidson College, Emory, Georgetown, Harvard, Rice, Stanford, the US Naval Academy, University of Michigan, Vassar and William & Mary, in addition to many other excellent schools. We have grown to maximum capacity residentially, while continuing to expand our Virtual and Outreach Programs. During the 2021-2022 school year, GSSM served a total of 129 students in our dual enrollment Accelerate virtual engineering program and our TEAM UP statewide virtual engineering program. Both programs are designed to develop our next generation of leaders in engineering. In addition, Virtual Programs served another 75 SC students in synchronous virtual mathematics classes. Our statewide Outreach programs have expanded to deliver statewide STEM educational experiences to thousands of students and teachers in grades three through ten. These include virtual and in-person learning opportunities offered during the school year and summer. During the pandemic, we developed a project-based virtual summer program called Summer STEM and we offered a variety of virtual after school opportunities through our SPARK and ENGAGE programs. We were able to offer in person Outreach Center learning opportunities during the 2021-2022 school year, but we have continued offering online live interactive virtual programs serving over 3000 students and teachers across the state. We had over 950 students participate in our summer 2022 STEM programs. Additionally, STEM Foundations is GSSM's STEM-focused online diploma program for 11th and 12th graders. This pilot program is in its second year; classes in the STEM Foundations are taught synchronously to students across the state of SC.
Danny S. Dorsel