Inspiring a New Generation of Engineers
Eight sophomores at J. L. Mann High Academy are among 54 students from across South Carolina who are participating in Accelerate, a new distance learning engineering program presented by the Governor’s School of Science and Math (GSSM). Students from eight South Carolina school districts are participating the first year.
Accelerate is designed to cultivate the next generation of creative engineers and technical leaders by offering highly-motivated, high-achieving high school students the opportunity to complete up to 30 college credit hours toward an engineering degree at Clemson, USC, the Citadel, or SC State. The curriculum includes virtual instruction throughout the school year, as well as hands-on, team-based projects during weekends and summers. Accelerate students take the courses at their home high schools.
“We are excited to have eight first-year students in the program,” said J. L. Mann High Academy principal Charles Mayfield. “This year they will take Honors pre-calculus and pre-engineering. By the time they graduate high school, they will also earn college credit.”
Students were chosen for the program by a selection committee from the Governor’s School for Science and Math. Mayfield expects to have 24 J. L. Mann students in the program within three years. Mayfield said students went to Hartsville for a summer camp that introduced them to other students, their teachers, and the engineering program.
The Accelerated program is year-round, virtual instruction resulting in dual credit and advanced completion of both high school and college standards. Curriculum oversight is provided by colleges, enhanced by SC engineering firms, taught by GSSM faculty with oversight by South Carolina’s four engineering colleges, and supported by community educators and engineers.
Corporate sponsors for the Accelerate program include BMW, Boeing, Comporium Communications, Duke Energy, GE, Google Data Centers Grant Fund of the Tide Foundation, IEEE Foundation General Fund, Integrated Systems, Nucor Steel, SCE&G, Sonoco Products, Time Warner Cable, and Westinghouse Electric.