The generosity and tireless support of the Google Data Center in Berkeley County empowers The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence to ignite the passion of several thousand future scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians annually through our many K-12 students programs made free through its support.

We wanted to share this important information after reading the editorial in The Post and Courier on Aug. 19 titled “Google knows all, shares little.”

In 2011, our foundational Engineering Week competitions were broadened when Google helped found Storm The Citadel, a daylong STEM event for students. It brings about 3,000 people to campus from across South Carolina and beyond every February. Teachers plan weeks of lessons around this event, and funds from Google help the schools with supplies and transportation.

In addition, Google provides a firm to advertise every Storm The Citadel and sends an army of employees to help stage and manage the event. The employees bring swag for the kids and compete with their own giant trebuchet, a sort of medieval launching device, which is a delight to the students and their families.

In all, Google has provided more than $320,000 to help found, grow and sustain Storm The Citadel. The Google Data Center does much more than that. It also provides scholarships and grants to STEM educators. One such award recently enabled us to train 150 teachers in computer science in support of the Lowcountry chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association.

It also offers mentors to Lowcountry schools for Storm The Citadel and for the South Carolina Science Olympiad, which will soon feature a state competition at The Citadel, thanks to a new $25,000 grant. Google also supports the Charleston STEM Festival each year, affecting more than 10,000 people.

Without Google’s support, our STEM Center’s initiatives would require a fee for participation or be limited overall. Google in South Carolina shows Lowcountry kids what they can become someday. In our eyes, that is priceless.

Larry Daniel, Ph.D. Dean Zucker Family School of Education

Ronald Welch, Ph.D.

Dean

The Citadel School of Engineering

Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Dean

Swain Family School of Science

and Mathematics

Jennifer Albert, Ph.D.

Director

The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence

Moultrie Street

Charleston