Middle & High Schools Compete in 8th Annual SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Challenge

logo_seaperchMarch 8, 2018 – North Charleston, SC – Middle and high schools from throughout the Charleston region and beyond participated in the 8th annual SeaPerch Charleston Challenge hosted by Charleston County School District’s Science Department at Danny Jones Recreational Complex in North Charleston.

IMG_4853Check out this awesome video on the event from North Charleston!

Students competed in a variety of events, both in the pool with the underwater robots they built and tested as a team, and in interviews with the judges on how they worked together to prepare for the event.

The staging of the event was a terrific success again this year thanks to CCSD Science Curriculum Specialist Rodney Moore, and an amazing group of volunteers from SPAWAR and other Lowcountry STEM Collaborative partners. Volunteer divers were in the pool setting up the course by 8am, and judges were briefed on their roles for the day by 9am!

DSC_1774The event began with a brief opening session, and then the competition was on for the students and their advisers that had worked so hard to prepare.

By noontime, the last of the ROVs had run it’s course, and the students, parents, and volunteers enjoyed some well deserved pizza for lunch while the judges tallied the scores to determine the winning teams for each event.

The overall winners for the High School and Middle School divisions will move on to compete in the International SeaPerch Challenge to be held June 1-3, 2018 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.


NBC News 2 Charleston was there also, and this report aired on the evening news:

Results and a gallery of additional pictures from the event are below – Thanks to all the business partners, community volunteers, educators, and parents for supporting this sensational project-based learning opportunity, and congratulations to all the winning teams!


High School Division Overall Winner: Charleston Charter Math & Science


Middle School Division Overall Winner: Buist Academy


High School Competitive Events
Obstacle Course
1st. North Charleston HS
2nd. Charleston Charter Math & Science
3rd. North Charleston HS
Challenge Course
1st. Charleston Charter Math & Science
2nd. North Charleston Navy JROTC
3rd. Summerville Navy JROTC
Engineering Notebook
1st. Charleston Charter Math & Science
2nd. Charleston Charter Math & Science
3rd. North Charleston HS
Middle School Competitive Events
Obstacle Course
1st. Buist Academy
2nd. Laing MS
3rd. Laing MS
Challenge Course
1st. # 9 Laing MS
2nd. Buist Academy
3rd. (3-way tie) CE Williams, Buist Academy, Charleston Charter Math & Science
Engineering Notebook
1st. Buist Academy
2nd. Buist Academy
3rd. Laing MS

Lambs Elementary Students Assist City of Charleston with Food Pantry Project

Students from Lambs Elementary School had the opportunity to assist professionals from the City of Charleston Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth, & Families with a service learning project.  Students assembled bags of food for the Lowcountry Blessing Box Project.


Military Magnet Academy Computer Science Students Visit College of Charleston Computer Science Classrooms

Today, students from Military Magnet Academy’s Computer Science program had the opportunity to visit The College of Charleston’s Computer Science Department. Upon arrival, students were greeted by Sebastian Van Delden, Department Chair and Professor of computer science, Admissions and Financial Aid coordinators, and current student volunteers. IMG_0232
The Department of Computer Science at the College of Charleston is well positioned to supply the ever growing talent needs of Charleston growing information technology sector. Charleston is consistently named as one of the fastest growing cities for software and internet technology in the United States, and has earned the nickname “Silicon Harbor.” IMG_0267
Students learned about the different undergraduate programs such as:
  • Computer Science – Bachelor of Science
  • Computer Science – Bachelor of Arts
  • Computer Information Systems – Bachelor of Science
  • Computing in the Arts – Bachelor of Science
  • Data Science – Bachelor of Science

Professor Van Delden gave the students a tour of the facility and explained the specifics of the mechanical arm for mechatronics, 3D Printer, and drilling tool. The students also had fun while learning by enjoying the VR (virtual reality) room, and gaming equipment. The field trip was extremely informative. Students were advised that a degree in computer science is highly valued by industry, governments, entrepreneurs, and graduate schools. With a computer science degree, jobs are plentiful and starting salaries range between $50K and $60K in the Southeast region.

Thanks to their Computer Science Program Instructor Ms. Carla Ferrette-Clark, the team at College of Charleston, and everyone that made this awesome work-based learning experience possible for these Charleston County School District students!

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West Ashley HS and Charleston Math & Science Students Visit City of Charleston Departments for Day of Job Shadowing

IMG_4741Students from West Ashley High School and Charleston Charter School for Math & Science had the opportunity to shadow various departments in the City of Charleston municipal team today.

The morning began in the historic Charleston City Hall’s Council Chambers. Surrounded by priceless paintings and other treasures, students got a personal welcome from Mayor John Tecklenburg. He explained the value of relationships and teamwork. He also shared the history of the location of City Hall, along with the court house, post office and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, make up the “Four Corners of Law“, a famous landmark in Charleston. IMG_4746

Then students were connected with representatives from their job shadowing host departments to begin a deep dive into various professions.

Host departments included:

  • Mayor Tecklenburg
  • Recreation
  • Municipal Court
  • Housing and Community Development
  • Traffic & Transportation
  • Geographic Information SystemsIMG_4789
  • Charleston Fire Department
  • Charleston Police Department
  • Charleston Fire Marshall
  • The Mayor’s Office for Children Youth & Families
    (Organizing dept for this annual job shadowing day)

After the students completed their visits to their host departments, everyone reconvened at the City of Charleston offices on the third floor at 75 Calhoun Street for a debriefing luncheon. Special thanks to Kickin’ Chicken for donating the box lunches for this event!

After the students shared stories about their job shadowing experiences, Jason Mitchell with the city’s Human Resources department addressed the students. He asked each student about their career aspirations, and provided excellent feedback and pointers tailored to their replies.

Mr. Mitchell encouraged the students to surround themselves with the type people they wanted to become, including their time online.

IMG_4777He also provided memorable quotes to add to their toolbox like, “there are riches in niches”, i.e. putting in the work to become a specialist in a specific niche profession is a path to long term success.IMG_4786

Special thanks to all the City of Charleston departments that invested theirtime in CCSD students today to make this work-based learning opportunity possible, especially the MOCYF team led by Mindy Sturm, Jason Mitchell from HR, and Mayor Tecklenburg.


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St. Johns HS Seniors Empowered with Financial Literacy & Life Skills Workshops

Thanks to a partnerships with Next Steps of South Carolina and Wells Fargo, seniors from St. Johns High School participated in a week of workshops to help prepare students for their upcoming adventures into the world of college and career. IMG_0995

Professionals from Wells Fargo led financial literacy sessions focused on budgeting, investing, the dangers of credit and debt, FAFSA, importance of saving and properly using checking accounts.

Volunteers from Next Steps of SC covered resume writing, interviewing skills, life skills, community assistance resources and important documents needed for “adulting” (birth certificate, social security cards, etc.).

IMG_0993“The students were thankful to have the opportunity to learn about and discuss these valuable real world skills with the community volunteers”, said Niki Smith, the Career Specialists at St. Johns HS.

Thank you to everyone that invested the time in this initiative for St. Johns High School students!  IMG_0997


West Ashley HS Students Learn from Local Professionals at Annual Career Fair

IMG_4716 IMG_4714Students in 9th and 10th grade at West Ashley High School recently got the chance to meet local professionals from a variety of career pathways during the school’s annual Career Fair.

Each Career and Technology Education Program of Study at the school was featured during the event. Representatives from local companies and colleges spoke with students at their tables during the event.  

Students also enjoyed classroom discussions led by the visiting professionals. Mr. Jenkins welcomed Mr. Green from KIZ Studios, a local video game design company to his Game Design & Development class. IMG_4713

Mr. Green described his industry and the strong career prospects in the Charleston region for programming, networking, and cyber security professionals. There are Youth Apprenticeships in these areas that students can participate in prior to graduation from high school!

Thank you to the following local businesses that invested their time in this event:IMG_0115

  • Chick-fil-A
  • Publix
  • Zaxby’s
  • KIZ Studios
  • Select Physical Therapy
  • STEM Premier
  • Live for Wellness Chiropractor
  • Google
  • Charleston RiverDogs
  • SC Ports Authority

Thank you to the following schools & colleges for participating:IMG_0102

  • Paul Mitchell School
  • Trident Technical College
  • American College of the Building Arts
  • Charleston Southern University
  • Art Institute of Charleston
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • The Citadel
  • College of Charleston

Check out these additional pictures from the event – Thanks to all that made it possible for our students!

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Military Magnet Academy Students Gain Valuable Experience at FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics State Championship

002Congratulations to the RoboEagles FIRST Robotics Team #7021 on their participation in the FTC State Championship that was held at Gaffney High School, February 2-3, 2018. The RoboEagles placed 17 out of 22 in the state-wide event.

076The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.

035The FIRST mission, along with Military Magnet Academy’s mission of achieving academic excellence, to develop citizenship and to promote self-discipline in a military environment, go hand-in-hand.

RoboEagles FTC Team #7021 Coach Ms. Carla Ferrette-Clark said, ” I’d like to give a special thank you to TSgt White, and Mrs. Sally-Ann Archice who helped make this amazing experience possible for our students!”

“​Let’s give it up for our FIRST Tech Robotics Team #7021 RoboEagles!! We are true leaders of the 21st Century!” Ms. Ferrette-Clark added.



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Baptist Hill MHS Students Complete Welding Internship with Stevens Towing Shipyard in Yonges Island

DSCN5626Students from Baptist Hill Middle High School in Hollywood recently completed their welding internships at Stevens Towing shipyard.  The interns studied pertinent vocabulary, math and measurement, safety compliance, and proper use of hand and power tools in addition to basic techniques in SMAW “Stick” and GMAW “MIG” welding.  Structured with a duality of classroom instruction and hands-on practice in the shipyard, the curriculum is based on the SC Standards for Welding Technology I and II.  

DSCN5644William Holmes, a graduate of Baptist Hill High School and retired supervisor at Stevens Towing instructs the interns in welding, using a grinder, and oxy-fuel cutting.  Additionally, guest speakers cover topics such as OSHA safety standards, fire fighting, 401Ks, and artistic welding.   

Opportunities for learning are everywhere in the shipyard.  Interns observe a myriad of activity DSCN5610such as a barge being blasted and repaired, a tugboat being drydocked, or a hatch cover being fabricated.  The outdoor classroom is located in the center of the shipyard surrounded by all of the activity. It is an exciting place to learn and ameliorate their job skills.

st-logosVery special thanks to Stevens Towing Shipyard for hosting another cohort of students for this amazing work-based learning opportunity this school year!

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Inaugural Liberty Hill Community STEM Day Held at Felix Pinckney Recreation Center

On Saturday January 27th the first Liberty Hill Community STEM Day was held in the community at the Felix Pinckney Recreation Center.

Business, community and local partners all joined forces to educate the community on the importance of STEM for our scholars in CCSD and the community as a whole.

The event stressed that many industry which are moving to Charleston are looking for qualified individuals to work for them and the partnership with CCSD, the Charity Foundation, Boeing and other entities are committed to ensuring that there is a pipeline to prepare scholars for them if they so choose to pursue these careers in the future.


Morningside Middle School Students Enjoy STEM Showcase, Practice Computer Programming

Hr_of_Code1-USE2Morningside Middle School scholars had the opportunity to participate in STEM activities during the week long celebration of International Hour of Code. Ms Burns’ 6th grade Computer Applications classes joined scholars around the world to try their hand at coding.

BaloonCar3Morning of STEM at Morningside Middle School:

Early Saturday morning Mr Glickman’s Project Lead the Way: Gateway to Technology scholars at Morninside Middle School braved the cold to showcase their talents as designers, builders, and coders. Scholars displayed 16 robots that they designed, built, coded, and modified this semester. One group of female 6th grade scholars decided to redesign their windmill Friday and were completing the finishing touches and testing on Saturday morning before the Morning of STEM event began. As well as being able to tryout the scholars’ robots, families and the community also took part in the International Hour of Code, coding OZObots using color codes, and STEM activities including origami and LEGO balloon cars.