We, at AJW, create a culture of respect and highest achievement, uniquely aligned with engineering principles, that best prepares a diverse group of learners to succeed in the 21st Century.
A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering is the first school in the state and one of only a handful of schools in the nation to offer a school-wide, engineering-focused curriculum for all students. Located in West Greenville, the school is co-located with the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center along the banks of the Reedy River and Swamp Rabbit Trail. Greenville’s newest public park, Unity Park, is under development just across the street from the school.
A.J. Whittenberg Elementary is a public School of Choice. Approximately half of its student body comes from the West Greenville neighborhood. The remaining slots are offered to students from across the district via a random lottery system administered by Greenville County Schools.
The school opened in the fall of 2010 with pre-kindergarten (K4) through 2nd grade students. AJW added a grade level each year until it was complete with K4-5th grade for the 2013-2014 academic year. Its 88,232 square foot facility features a three-story atrium with flexible STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) labs visible from both the interior and exterior of the building. AJW is one of the most technologically advanced schools in the state. Students program and build Lego robots or design and develop a product via 3-D printers. The interior walls of the labs are mostly glass so the children can see the activity and be inspired to learn. Throughout the school, there is a focus on teamwork, problem-solving and social emotional learning.
The building itself is a teaching tool. Solar panels provide electricity for one of the STEM labs, a green roof insulates a lab on the ground floor. The building is Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified for Schools, based on the high environmental and energy-efficient standards and its use of the structure to teach students the importance of recycling, water conservation, and renewable resources.
A.J. Whittenberg Elementary was founded on the strength of public-private partnerships that welcome a variety of engineering-focused and community-minded organizations into the school to further support students and brining engineering to life. In 2020, the school was awarded the National Blue Ribbon for Schools award and named an “Exemplary, High-Performing School” by the U.S. Department of Education. National Blue Ribbon is the highest honor that any school, public or private, may receive.
The school is named for Mr. Abraham Jonas Whittenberg, a pioneer for civil rights who is best known for his stand on the integration of Greenville County Schools. His daughter, Mrs. Elaine Whittenberg Boyce, is an active volunteer with the school.