You have permission to edit this article.

Virtual after school programs accepting applications

  • Updated
HCS Virtual (copy)

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics is accepting applications for its free virtual after school programs Spark! and ENGAGE. Online applications are available at

Delivered by GSSM's Center for Science Education & Outreach, Spark! and ENGAGE are after school virtual programs designed to introduce early experiences with STEM help to build students' confidence with new technologies. Spark! and ENGAGE are intended to impact students through early interest and awareness of STEM studies.

ENGAGE is hosting two six-week after-school engagements this spring for 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students.

• Game Design with Kodu: Activities will center on computer programming through game design using Kodu technology. Students will use critical thinking skills and deductive reasoning as they explore game design with the Kodu software. A download is required to participate.

• Afternoon Chess with Govies: Activities will center on problem solving and strategic thinking utilizing the game of Chess. Students will explore the maneuvers, strategies, and cultivate the patience required to master the game of Chess. All skill levels are invited.

ENGAGE will take place virtually from 4 to 5:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday. Game Design with Kodu will be held on Mondays from February 1 through March 7. Afternoon Chess with Govies will be held on Wednesdays, February 4 through March 10. During ENGAGE sessions, participants will have opportunities to interact with GSSM students who serve as both instructors and role models.

SPARK! is designed to inspire an early interest in and awareness of STEM studies. In a series of virtual after school workshops, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders follow their interests to learn the science or math concepts behind daily questions or curiosities. Activities explore chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, and more. They are designed for middle school students and taught by GSSM students. Students can select any or all workshops to attend. These sessions will take place virtually from 4 to – 5 p.m., January 26 through March 11.

Below is a list of all the SPARK! workshops available.

Biology: Nervous System, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Brains, we all have them, we all talk about taking care of them and feeding them, but how do they really work? This workshop explores how people think, feel, and are conscious! It investigates how brains grow, how our different actions in life impact our brains, and what's still left for us to learn about brains.

Chemistry: Diffusion, Osmosis & Solubility, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021

How do liquids affect our world and result in dissolving, mixing, and spontaneous movement? Why does food coloring spread out when placed in water, and why can sugar dissolve in water when sand won’t? In this lesson, students learn about how concentration (the amount of substance) impacts experiments such as gummy bear osmosis and potato osmosis, and discover how temperature and the attraction between atoms can determine whether something will dissolve or not.

Math: To Infinity & Beyond, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

How far does infinity go? Ever wondered what exactly defines a number? In this session, participants learn about the concept of infinity as well as irrational numbers and how series work, delving into the world of mathematical rules to see what happens when these rules are broken. Participants will also explore infinity through astronomy and the expanding universe. 

Physics: Electricity & Circuits, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

Ever feel a spark after running on carpet? Ever have your hair stand straight up after taking off a sweater? Electricity is seen everywhere, yet it’s often not understood well. In this session, students learn the basics of electric fields, electric forces, and the many electrical devices from conductors to insulators. Additionally, they will explore circuits and their basic components. Activities will center around the conceptual backing for why electric fields exist, the way circuits work, and then exploring their interaction on our world through experiments.

Spanish: Language, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

¡Bienvenidos! Ever heard a conversation in Spanish but not understood what was being said? In this lesson, students learn the basics of the Spanish language, including common phrases and words that can help communicate. Through interactive activities and games, they will work to construct basic sentences as well as pronunciation. ¡Espero verte pronto!

French: Language, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

Bonjour! Ça va? Do you think speaking French sounds cool? This lesson will explore the basics of the French grammar, including basic vocabulary and sentences. Through flashcards and fun activities students will get a basic introduction on the French language and pronunciation. 

Literature: Where Literature and Math Intersect, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021

Ever felt like English is a different language than math? Students will learn to find multiple layers of meaning in both literature and math? Participants will explore the mathematical principles used not only to create literature but to heighten imagery and deepen its effect. 

Biology: Ecosystems, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

Everyone knows about the cycle of life, but how about how it works? In this session, participants will explore a variety of ecosystems with how they work, food chains, and energy transfer between organisms.

Chemistry: Acids & Bases, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021

What is the difference between acids and bases, and why do acids taste sour while bases taste bitter? How do hydrogen (H+) ions influence whether a substance is acidic or basic? In this lesson, students will discover why a lemon is an acid and why soap is a base, and experiment with measuring pH to see if a liquid is acidic or basic, mixing acids and bases to create a neutral solution that is neither basic nor acidic, and turning water into an acid using their own breath.

Math: Geometry, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

There is more to geometry than circles and squares. In this session, participants will explore patterns in shapes with the Pythagorean Theorem and Pascal's Triangle through origami and the world around us. (Also introduces participants to origami).

Physics: Rotation & Moment of Inertia, Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Why so some things spin? And why do some objects spin faster than others? And why don't objects fall when spinning? In this lesson, students learn the basics of rotational motion, what “speed” means when spinning, and why some things are easier to spin than others. They’ll explore rotational movement and then master the moment of inertia and the resistance to change via rotation with experiments including gyroscopes, spinning tops, and spinning people!

Music: History & Instruments, Thursday, March 4, 2021

From Beethoven’s symphonies to Mozart's sonatas students will explore the history of music up to the present day, including how it changed over the years to become what we hear on the radio today. Additionally, they will investigate the physics of some instruments, including how a guitar string vibrates or how a saxophone can create a note just by blowing through the mouthpiece. Demonstrations include trying out various musical instruments to see how they create their sound.

History: For the Revolution, Tuesday, March 9, 2021

So just how important was South Carolina when the United States declared independence? Some of the biggest battles in the Revolutionary War were fought in South Carolina, and this lesson will teach students about life in South Carolina in 1776 and explore the events leading up to the Revolution. 

Computer Science, Wednesday, March 10, 2021

How do computers work? How are we able to tell our computers to do something? In this lesson, students will explore the basics of computer science including the binary system, logic in computer science, and an activity in programming. 

Marine Biology & Conservation, Thursday, March 11, 2021

Ever wondered what was going on beneath surface of the ocean? Oceans make up 71% of the world and most life on Earth is aquatic, but only 5% of the ocean has been explored. That means 95% of the ocean is waiting to be discovered. 

For more information about GSSM's Outreach programs, please visit

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

Columbia Breaking News

Greenville Breaking News

Myrtle Beach Breaking News

Aiken Breaking News