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Education Notebook: Ace welcomes Aiken Scholars Academy’s first class

September 3, 2018

Ace, USC Aiken’s mascot, greeted members of the inaugural cohort of the Aiken Scholars Academy on their first day of class on Aug. 20.

This year marks the beginning of this high school model, which is part of Aiken County Public Schools and is located on USCA’s campus.

“We are thrilled to have Aiken Scholars Academy students joining us this year,” USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan said. “We enthusiastically welcome ASA students to USC Aiken, a special community of scholars at all levels, including each of them. Our campus is small enough that it will soon feel like a second home, where everyone knows their name, but big enough that they can pursue a wide range of interests.

During the first two years, Aiken County Public Schools’ educators will teach the scholars. During their junior and senior high school years, the students will be fully immersed into USCA courses. When they graduate from high school, the scholars will already have some college credits.

“Before you know it, they will be fully immersed in USC Aiken classrooms, where they will conduct relevant research, explore new perspectives, and share their insights,” Jordan said.

HCA student and teacher of the month

The board of Horse Creek Academy recently recognized the school’s teacher and student of the month for August.

Danielle Vargo was the teacher of the month, and Katelyn Moore was the student of the month.

The awards recognized them for the “contributions and character that they give back to HCA,” according to a news release from the school.

The Links award scholarships

The Aiken Chapter of The Links Incorporated recognized almost 100 graduating high school students at its Senior Recognition Day before the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The chapter awarded more than $5,000 in scholarships sponsored by local businesses and individuals to students as follows:

• Maggie Smith, Williston-Elko High, Aiken Chapter of The Links Incorporated

• Citlali Diaz, Aiken High, ARE LLC

• Tamia Valentine, Silver Bluff High, The Chandler Law Firm

• Katie Coker, Mid Carolina High, Council Hightower

• Molly Greenway, North Augusta High, Security Federal Bank

• Vanessa Campbell, Silver Bluff High, Old Macedonia Baptist Church

• Grant Butler, Aiken High, S.C. Rep. Bill Clyburn

• Rebekah Faith Darrah, Emerald High, George A. Samuels

• Catherine Baker, Whitmire Community School; Mark Cameron Jones, Midland Valley High; and Elijah Knight, Strom Thurmond High, The Esther Gordy Bullock Edwards Foundation.

Sierra Wheeler and Rebecca Ferguson, both from Aiken High, received laptops.

Barnwell teacher receives STEM award

Melanie Corell, a science teacher at Guinyard-Butler Middle School in Barnwell, received a $5,000 STEM research grant from the Society for Science & the Public to purchase equipment such as microscopes, tools to build engineering projects and digital cameras for her classroom, according to a news release from the society.

Corell serves a population that is 86 percent low-income. Every student is required to complete a science fair project to be entered into the school’s science competition. The local fair provides a direct path to a regional fair and possibly beyond.

The STEM Research Grant will allow Melanie to buy a variety of reusable, sustainable equipment that will provide all the students with a chance to conduct the research they want to.

“STEM helps students find real life solutions to real life problems using the scientific method and/or engineering and design practices,” Correll said. “Through project-based and problem-based research projects, students solve and provide solutions and show pride and ownership in their work because they choose the research project. I believe that every student should be able to have the same opportunity to succeed and not be limited because of lack of resources.”

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