SC Department of Education and Greenwood Genetic Center Partner to Bring STEM to Students

The South Carolina Department of Education and Greenwood Genetic Center have partnered to bring additional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) opportunities to students across the state. 

“Today’s job market requires students have a strong knowledge of and passion for STEM,” said Superintendent Spearman. “By partnering with the Greenwood Genetic Center we will be able to bring additional STEM based learning opportunities to students and show them in a fun and creative way the endless possibilities that a STEM education brings,” concluded Spearman. 

The Greenwood Genetic Center’s Gene Machine , a 41-foot custom bus equipped as a state-of-the-art genetics laboratory, brings hands-on genetics educational experiences and career exploration to over 6,000 SC middle and high school students each year. Due to its high popularity, the Gene Machine’s schedule is often filled by the beginning of the school year.

To help make this valuable program more accessible to all students, the SC Department of Education has allocated proviso funding of $278,000 to GGC to expand its outreach educational STEM programs for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years with priority to traditionally under-served districts across SC. 

“The Gene Machine is so very beneficial to rural schools like Chesterfield High,“ said Jerry Brigman who teaches Health Sciences Technology. “This lab brings state of the art equipment and up to date research to the students, allowing them to experience practical and relevant information.” 

The money will be used to expand the services of the Gene Machine, offer additional field trips for students to the GGC campus in Greenwood, and provide more teacher development opportunities, especially in more rural school districts across the state.

“This additional funding will ensure that GGC can add the personnel and equipment necessary to broaden our activities and reach schools we haven’t been able to serve in the past,” said Leta Tribble, PhD, GGC’s Director of Education. 

GGC will begin accepting Gene Machine requests from teachers for the 2017-18 school year on May 1, and they have already reached out to the target districts. The number of school visits is expected to grow by 50% next year.  

For more information regarding GGC’s educational outreach, visit www.GGC.org/education.                                             

Applications for this summer’s professional development course for teachers relating to biotechnology and genetics education are due by April 28, 2017. Please contact Dr. Leta Tribble at 864-943-4170 or LMT@ggc.org for more information regarding the student and teacher opportunities through the Greenwood Genetic Center.

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