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Published on January 23rd, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Legacy of Educational Trailblazer Lives on as the SC Science Academy Unveils New Location

Written by Rania Jamison:

Pictured above (l-r) Dr. Nate Carnes, Autumn Perkins, SCSA Project Coordinator, Bala Sivankoil, Allison Spry Waymyers, and Dr. Danny Shaw.

Columbia, SC – Recently, a group of educators, parents, students and community members joined to announce and unveil the new home of the South Carolina Science Academy (SCSA), the state’s only project based, blended STEM-centric school which will open in downtown Columbia in August.

The school was originally scheduled to open in August of 2013. However, the opening was delayed when SCSA visionary and founder, Nathan Yon, was killed in a car accident. Described as an educational trailblazer, Yon worked tirelessly to pave the way for students to receive an innovative education through the unique offerings of the South Carolina Science Academy.

“Nathan’s vision is one step closer to being fulfilled now that we have an official home for the academy,” said Autumn Perkins, SCSA Program Coordinator during the press conference.

The school’s location is in the heart of downtown Columbia at 2015 Marion Street. SCSA Parent, Dr. Tracy Young, described her excitement about the new location. “My son wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up and I firmly believe that the education he receives at the SC Science Academy will properly prepare him to be one of the best. Plus, I am excited about this location because it will be easy for me to get to on my way to work,” said Young.

SCSA Board Member, Dr. Nate Carnes, further described the location as a great fit for the school’s vision to remain convenient and accessible to parents and community partners. “I don’t think we could have found a better location. Our business partners will be key in providing a vital part of the education we will provide our students,” said Carnes. “Being right downtown makes so much sense as we infuse theory with the real world.”

Champions for school choice also applauded SCSA for its location choice. Mary Carmichael of the Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina stated, “making quality education accessible to all students regardless of where they live is something we are very proud.” Carmichael described SCSA as an example of what the Alliance defines as a charter school. “It allows the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for improving student achievement. We are proud of the life-long learners that will be nourished at this location and look forward to continuing to supporting the great work that will happen here.”

Superintendent of the SC Public Charter School District, Dr. Wayne Brazell, also provided remarks during the press conference. “South Carolina Science Academy will join our other 24 schools across South Carolina that are making quality public education accessible to over 1400 students.” He furthered stated, “we continue to explore new ways of enhancing student learning and salute the South Carolina Science Academy.”

Registration is currently underway for students to enroll in 6th-9th grade. The deadline to register is February 20th. Perkins indicated that an additional high school grade level will be added over the next few years. Parents can learn more about the school at an upcoming information session, which will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 20th at the Main Branch of the Richland County Public Library.

SCSA will also showcase science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at its upcoming Big Kid Science Fair on February 6th at the Science Gallery of the South Carolina State Museum. The Big Kid Science Fair will highlight scientific innovations and STEM initiatives that area businesses such as Westinghouse, SCANA and Providence Heart Hospital are using everyday to help South Carolina run.

Interactive displays will be provided by Nephron, the State Museum Planetarium, S.C. Veterinary Specialists, USC School of Engineering, TPM Engineering and Architecture, and The Midlands Audio Institute. The evening event will include food, drinks, and music; with all proceeds benefiting the students of the SC Science Academy. Tickets for the event can be purchased through the SCSA website.

About SCSA
South Carolina Science Academy is a publicly funded school and learning laboratory that provides 21st century, STEM-centric education to a diverse student body. This academically rigorous school for middle and high school students offers a blend of online and on-campus courses that encourage students to be innovative, life-long learners.

SCSA’s mission is to develop innovative leaders by providing to a diverse student body a world-class education designed with a science focus within the core academic courses through emphasizing science, mathematics, technology, and engineering (STEM). The academy will provide a safe and supportive learning environment where students are provided the tools to actively engage in the learning process, develop strong leadership qualities, and learn to solve problems. SCSA offers a blend of online and on-campus courses that encourage SCSA students to be innovative and life-long learners.

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