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AFL and ScanSource fund STEM program

Staff Report //May 21, 2018//

AFL and ScanSource fund STEM program

Staff Report //May 21, 2018//

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Two Upstate technology companies have provided grants to fund a workshop for students at the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Funded by AFL and ScanSource, the workshop will encourage students to experiment, take risks and explore their own ideas, according to a news release from the school. The workshop, to be known as Einstein’s Workshop, is designed to introduce students to career opportunities in the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math.

Participating in a ribbon cutting of Einsteinƒ??s Workshop are, from left, student Azael Cruz, Grant Burns with AFL, student Cailynn-Ann Campos, Josh Sigman with AFL, student Akeylah Howard, Corie Culp with AFL, Joel Douglass with ScanSource, Joan Burkett with ScanSource, student Heilyin Sanchez, Jason Motte with ScanSource, student Cameron Stiff and Jill Kremer with ScanSource. (Photo/Provided)Einstein’s Workshop will enable students in first through eighth grades to learn about a subject in class and then create a product based on the principles they learned in the classroom, according to the release. The workshop will be equipped with the educational materials necessary for students to practice robotics, electronics/circuits, coding/software and environmental concepts.

“We want to give students a solid foundation for STEM classes in middle and high school that may lead to further training and a career aligned with the jobs present in and moving into South Carolina,” Jennifer Stanion, lead principal of the S.C. School for the Deaf and Applied Academics, two subdivisions of the school, said in the news release. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that STEM occupations grew at a rate of 24.4% from 2005-2015 compared to 4% for non-STEM occupations.

“Students at the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind will have a greater opportunity for STEM employment by using the tools and knowledge gained through this hands-on experience,” Corie Culp, AFL community affairs manager, said in the release.  “STEM education is a growing need not only in South Carolina but also in the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to seeing the results of this outstanding program.”

ScanSource, headquartered in Greenville, said in the news release that STEM education is important for the kind of work the company does.

“As a technology provider, we understand the importance of STEM education in the Upstate and beyond, and we believe that all children, regardless of challenges they may face, should have the same access to STEM learning opportunities,” said Joel Douglass, president of the ScanSource Charitable Foundation Board and sales manager at ScanSource “One of the main focuses of the ScanSource Charitable Foundation is to support children and educational initiatives in the communities in which ScanSource employees live and work.”

Einstein’s Workshop will be inside the school’s centrally located library, an area that can be accessed by all of the school’s teachers, the release said. Collaborative efforts among teachers will be encouraged to broaden students’ interests and abilities.

The two grants for the workshop were obtained by the school’s foundation, the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation.

AFL is an international manufacturer headquartered in Duncan that provides telecommunications solutions.

The S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind offers pre-K to grade 12 educational programs on its main campus in Spartanburg and specialized vision and hearing services in school districts and homes throughout the state.