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
Stephen Maddy

Youth Apprenticeship Success – West Ashley HS Graduate Stephen Maddy’s Pathway to Employment with City of Charleston IT Department

Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships logoStephen Maddy, a 2017 graduate of the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship program, was hired by the City of Charleston as a Computer Networking youth apprentice in 2015.

He graduated West Ashley High School in 2016 and has worked full time since March 2017 as a PC Support Technician with the City of Charleston.Stephen Maddy Named Technology Champion of the Year (1)

Stephen was recently promoted to Network Engineer. The announcement about his promotion came from Wes Ratterree, Chief Information Officer for the City of Charleston, Department of Information Technology:

“Stephen was competing with candidates who possessed bachelor and master’s degrees. Stephen knew he didn’t have those qualifications, but because of the experience he acquired through the youth apprenticeship, he decided to apply anyway. Also, because of his outstanding work ethic, he was eventually chosen as the most qualified candidate for the position. And that promotion came with a $20K annual salary increase from his previous position”, said Ratterree.

Stephen plans stephen maddy to continue his education at the College of Charleston to pursue a baccalaureate degree in computer science. Because of the youth apprenticeship program, together with some need-based grants, Stephen was able to go to college at Trident. Without the opportunity offered through the Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship program, the professional success he has attained so early in his career would not have been possible, and higher education would have been beyond his financial reach.

Thanks to Ellen Kaufman, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator at Trident Technical College for sharing this success story!


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!


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.

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Students from St. James Santee School Enjoy Guest Teacher from Jack Russell Coding School

20171121_080735 (1)Students from St. James Santee Elementary/Middle School in McClellanville enjoyed a special guest lecturer recently from the Jack Russell Software Coding School in Mt. Pleasant.

Tom Wilson, Founder & Lead Instructor from JRS Coding School encouraged students to learn by experimenting as he introduced a variety of tips and tricks for basic programming.

Using tools from the coding school, Mr. Wilson was able to introduce the foundational principals of coding, and demonstrate the power of being able to tailor a program for a specific project or purpose.

The students truly enjoyed the interactive lessons. “Every single student was inspired by the coding lesson Mr. Wilson shared, and ready to learn more”, said Ms. Lisa Farmer, the Career Specialist that helped organize the guest speaker’s visit to the school.

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7th Graders at Jerry Zucker MS Enjoy Special STEAM Project-based Learning Activity

Check out the creative towers Charleston County School District 7th grade students from Jerry Zucker Middle School Of Science built during a #STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, THE ARTS, & Math) project-based learning assignment this week in Ms. Anderson’s CTE class – CHALLENGE: Build the tallest Free Standing Tower with 100 toothpicks and gummy candies.

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