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New Video Shorts from EngenuitySC Show How Lower Richland Schools Are Surpassing Expectations

Lower Richland High School students

Hopkins Middle School, Southeast Middle School and Lower Richland High School featured in new series of documentary video shorts

As Midlands children head back to classrooms for the 2016-17 school year, local economic development nonprofit EngenuitySC has released three video shorts to help tell the stories of high-performing schools in the Lower Richland community, where EngenuitySC collaborates with teachers, parents and staff at Hopkins Middle School, Southeast Middle School and Lower Richland High School to prepare students for future success in the Midlands. The videos can be viewed online at http://www.engenuitysc.com/STEM.

Produced by local company Dust of the Ground, the three documentary video shorts depict the remarkable accomplishments, as told by students and teachers, made possible in part by EngenuitySC’s in-depth, hands-on project management of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programming at the three Richland One schools.

Lower Richland High School students




STEAM Program

The collaboration ­– launched in June 2013 and expanded to Hopkins and Southeast Middle Schools for the 2015-16 school year – has helped introduce parents, students and teachers to STEAM programming, creative arts integration, professional development and opportunities right here in the Midlands.

“Our students are benefitting in many ways from the partnership we have with EngenuitySC,” says Richland County School District One Superintendent Witherspoon. “From the infusion of STEAM in activities throughout the school to building of relationships within the student body, this is truly great work!”

EngenuitySC is an economic development nonprofit focused on enhancing our region’s competitiveness and prosperity. Thanks to collaboration with industry, government, education and community partners, EngenuitySC has helped bring STEAM experiences, like the annual soft-skills student showcase “Dress for Success” and the groundbreaking LifeCycle Innovation Project, to the schools.

Lower Richland High School students

Richland One Video Series

The Richland One Video Series, viewable online at http://www.engenuitysc.com/STEM, highlights the growth and zeal of STEAM-focused learning from individual teachers and students in each of the three schools.

“The students, the teachers, the administrators and the community in Lower Richland never cease to amaze and inspire our team,” says Meghan Hickman, executive director of EngenuitySC. “Getting to bring their vision and audacious goals to life is truly an honor for us. The community – and especially the students – are always so grateful for the partnership, but frankly, we are the lucky ones. The incredibly talented team at Dust of the Ground has done a masterful job of bringing these students’ and teachers’ stories to life. This is just a taste of the inspired work happening in these schools.”

“I can certainly say that the partnership has been a tremendous blessing to our efforts. Our high school – as well as middle school – students are constantly engaged,” says Richland County School District One Commissioner Cheryl Harris. “Programs like this align cohesively to the district’s mission of ‘transforming love’ and ‘creating productive citizens.’ Our future looks very bright.”

LRHS student

Southeast Middle School Highlight

In the Southeast Middle School video, art teacher and well-known local ceramic artist Kyle Smith says, “The diversity of opportunities that [the students are] exposed to and the support that they receive here is having a profound impact on their student experience. You can see the confidence build in them; you can see them when the idea clicks. And they’ll never forget that.”

Southeast Middle School student Jordin in the Entrepreneurship Club says, “Being in the class, I notice that it strengthens me as a leader and a student.” AllanDave, a Drama Club member, says, “I have amazing teachers – and they want to help me with my dreams.”

At Southeast Middle School, the achievements read as follows: International Baccalaureate Candidate School, 94.9% passage rate on Algebra 1 End of Course Exam, more than 30 Middle School Scholars, award-winning Recycling Program, Project Lead the Way School (Engineering) and district and regional award-winning chorus, orchestra, band and football team.

LRHS student

Hopkins Middle School Highlights

“In some eyes, an education in the city would be better than an education in Hopkins ­­– but that’s just not the case,” says Brian Odom, math teacher at Hopkins Middle School. “We incorporate more and more STEM activities into our classrooms every day. Every teacher, on a daily basis, is trying to find innovative ways to capture students’ attention and engage them in the lesson we’re presenting.”

The accomplishments of Hopkins Middle School include the following recognitions: IB MYP Candidate School, 1st Middle Level HOSA Chapter, 1st place winner Career Health Display in District HOSA competition 2014-2015 Healthy Schools “Let’s Move” National Award Recipient, PLTW (Project Lead the Way) School (Design & Modeling, Medical Detectives, Green Architecture, Flight & Space, and Automation & Robotics), 2015-2016 PLTW Verizon Grant Award Recipient and USC Law Middle School Mentoring Program Participants.

Lower Richland High School Highlights

The Lower Richland High School video spotlights individual students’ dreams, and how they plan to get there via LRHS. At the end of the video, LRHS’ up-to-date accomplishments roll: LRHS is one of the first AdvancED STEM Certified schools in the nation; the first IB Career Program in S.C.; recognized as an arts in basic curriculum site and held the highest career and technology completes in the district.

View the Richland One Video Series online at http://www.engenuitysc.com/STEM.

About Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Education

STEAM is an approach to educational learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. As a result, students in effective STEAM classrooms learn how to identify, apply and integrate concepts from the five domains in order to understand complex problems and to solve problems using innovative approaches.

About EngenuitySC

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., EngenuitySC is an economic development nonprofit focused on enhancing our region’s competitiveness and prosperity. In partnership with business, government, education and community leaders, EngenuitySC specializes in regional collaboration and project management, the activation of local industry clusters and regional research, analysis and marketing.  For more information, visit http://www.engenuitysc.com.


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