South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Math Foundation, Inc.

aka GSSM Foundation   |   Columbia, SC   |


The South Carolina Governor's School for Science + Mathematics (GSSM) seeks out and advances our state's most talented and motivated students, offering a transforming education in science, mathematics, and engineering that cultivates joy in learning and builds the confidence to engage as ethical leaders with the world's most significant issues. The GSSM Foundation advocates for GSSM and provides funds and support to enhance its programs and students' educational endeavors. The Foundation connects the School with a broad community and showcases GSSM's contribution to quality of life and economic prosperity of South Carolina and beyond.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Beth Dinndorf

Main address

2711 Middleburg Drive Suite 205

Columbia, SC 29204 USA

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NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The US Department of Education projects as much as a 60% job increase in STEM fields over the next decade. South Carolina, however, continues to lag behind in providing top-tier science and mathematics learning experiences to its students. A report compiled by the SC Department of Employment & Workforce projects that by 2022 our state will have 42,000 fewer STEM employees than jobs.

For South Carolina to increase its competitiveness in the global economy, educating a new generation of skilled STEM professionals is a critical need. Retaining students in STEM and equipping them with 21st century knowledge and skills is crucial to meeting the increasing job demands vital for South Carolina's future.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

GSSM Residential

GSSM’s two-year, in-residence program provides high school juniors and seniors with exceptionally strong academic preparation emphasizing deep conceptual understanding within, and across, disciplines. Our special opportunities for the advanced study of science, math, and engineering, paired with equally strong offerings in humanities and social sciences, provide students with the deep knowledge and broad, well-rounded perspective that is the foundation for success and achievement in a wide range of future pursuits.

Population(s) Served

GSSM Virtual provides exceptional virtual education using both real-time and blended course-delivery methods to cultivate the interests and talents of motivated students across South Carolina. GSSM currently offers three virtual programs:
*Accelerate provides students with an integrated set of courses that deliver high-quality science, engineering, math instruction, valuable skills in critical analysis, and professional communication taught in English courses. Students who participate in this dual enrollment program complete the first year of a college general engineering program while in high school.
*Teaching, Engaging, and Advancing Minds for Undergraduate Preparedness (TEAM UP) introduces students to engineering disciplines through gateway courses that enable students to learn problem-solving skills, understand the engineering design process, and help inform their decisions about college majors and professions. Students who participate in this program enter college with a strong foundation in mathematics and are prepared to major in engineering.
*The Synchronous Virtual Course (SVC) program offers single STEM courses to partner schools, with the goal of increasing students' interest in STEM while encouraging them to pursue STEM-related careers.

Population(s) Served

As one of the leading high schools in America, GSSM is committed to reaching beyond the walls of its highly successful residential program in Hartsville, SC, to positively impact teachers and students across the Palmetto State with innovative and challenging STEM education opportunities. Our Duke Energy Center for Science Education & Outreach is a statewide resource invested in hands-on, minds-on, STEM-based programming and enrichment initiatives. GSSM’s outreach efforts annually impact approximately 10,000 students and teachers statewide through a variety of unique offerings:
*CREATEng is a ne-of-a-kind, four-day immersion into engineering and design thinking for rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders in counties across the state. Students take on the role of NASA engineers charged with developing a sustainable colony on Mars. Working through project-based, hands-on team challenges, students learn what engineering is and what engineers do.
*ENGAGE is GSSM's customizable outreach initiative designed to impact students through early interest and awareness of STEM studies and careers. These four- to six-day workshops can be delivered during the school day or on Saturdays during the school year.
*GoSciTech, GSSM's annual week-long residential summer camp, provides a hands-on experience for rising 8th, 9th and 10th grade science and tech enthusiasts. Courses include Pre-Med & Anatomy, Marine Biology, Science and the Law, Codes & Cryptography, Sisterhood of Coders, Graphic Design, Astrophysics, and many more.
*INSIDE GSSM offers a chance for students and families to explore the campus in Hartsville with educational activities and demonstrations for 3rd-8th graders.
*iTEAMS Xtreme is a summer day camp for middle schoolers interested in computer science and technology in partner school districts across the state. Explore the world of microcontrollers, electronics and circuits through Arduino technology. In the Arduino & Robotics track, learn how to program your very own microcontrolled robot and pit it against other students' robots in campwide competitions such as Maze Runner and Robot Wars. In the Game Design track, create and play 2D and 3D multiplatform games in campwide competitions.
*Multimedia Resources for Educators and Students: GSSM Outreach staff curated, free technology tools and resources for science and mathematics educators to use in creating multimedia lessons and presentations. Multimedia (videos, simulations, animations, and other media) not only help students develop understandings and skills, multimedia can also help to excite and motivate students!
*PASE offers professional development math and science workshops, held across the state, to provide teachers with enhanced curriculum and skills by infusing hands-on, technology-based science and math activities into their classrooms. In addition to workshops, GSSM loans the lab technologies to the teachers.
*SPARK! is a series of after-school workshops at the GSSM campus where 6th-8th graders can learn the science or math concepts behind daily questions or curiosities.
*STEM Scholars is an academic enrichment program that provides Saturday learning experiences covering the core areas of mathematics, science, technology, communications, and leadership to students from underrepresented communities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Through a razor-sharp STEM-focused lens, GSSM educates, nurtures, and fine-tunes the state's most talented young minds, thus increasing the likelihood that they will reach their full potential—irrespective of socioeconomic, racial, gender, and cultural boundaries. GSSM provides the next generation of leaders with opportunities to explore, discover, and innovate, transforming them into global scientists, technology trailblazers, and visionary entrepreneurs who will create new products that solve emerging issues critical to our state, nation, and the world.

One of the few specialized public residential high schools of its kind, GSSM exists to push motivated young learners beyond their perceived levels of academic ability. Founded in 1988 under the leadership of the late Governor Carroll Campbell, GSSM has consistently raised the bar for STEM education in South Carolina. GSSM's two-year residential high school program, three-year virtual engineering program, summer camps, and outreach programs all invite young people to explore the subjects they love in a diverse, inclusive, and uncommonly supportive academic environment. GSSM students embrace the school's rigorous approach to education and, in doing so, begin to realize their full potential.

GSSM is empowering the next generation of innovators, connecting South Carolina's most driven elementary, middle, and high school students with world-class faculty in an inclusive, one-of-a-kind learning environment. Fast-paced and challenging, GSSM's unique approach to education pushes students to exceed their goals and maximize their potential. GSSM's inclusive, tightly knit community prioritizes collaboration ahead of competition. GSSM is setting a new standard for schools across the country, actively cultivating an environment where support and encouragement are the norm and connecting all students with the resources they need to thrive. Immersion is key to GSSM's process; students pursue meaningful, hands-on work that connects them deeply to the subjects they care about.

For thirty years, GSSM has provided unparalleled, advanced educational experiences to the state’s most academically motivated students. Starting with 64 students living on campus in 1988, GSSM now enrolls hundreds of new students into its residential and virtual programs each year, and thousands more into its summer and school-year programs. This growth is the result of lasting relationships across the state built upon the knowledge that GSSM's programs provide uniquely challenging opportunities to learn and grow, while being accessible to all who are motivated to excel in science and mathematics.

As GSSM enters its fourth decade of service to South Carolina, it is enhancing its contributions by focusing on key areas of academic excellence, talent cultivation, program access, and outreach:
*GSSM residential programs will allow students more time to learn and mature, so that our graduates will be better prepared for college and career.
*GSSM virtual programs will reach highly motivated students in all communities in South Carolina.
*GSSM's catalog will offer a broader array of challenging and relevant course offerings, giving our students meaningful experiences that are unique to GSSM.
*As GSSM engages with elementary and middle schools, it will inspire interest in math and science, develop knowledge, and help teachers in those schools achieve their educational objectives.
*Knowing that many of South Carolina’s future opportunities rely on international relations, GSSM will work to prepare its students to pursue complex global issues in college and career.
*As a school with the highest aspirations for excellence and achievement, and supported by public and private partners, GSSM will continue to be a responsible steward of its resources as it supports the programs that are key to developing the state’s next generation of leadership in science, mathematics, and engineering.


South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Math Foundation, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Math Foundation, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/17/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

James Gergen

CPM Federal Credit Union

Term: 2020 - 2021

Hamid Aboutorabi

Giti Tire R&D Center

Julie Albrecht

Sonoco Products Company

Brad Alexander

Immedion, LLC

Bob Brown

Integrated Systems, Inc.

Brian Burkhart

SiVance LLC (Milliken & Company)

Tom Burns


Connie Cain

Dominion Energy

Joseph Cignarale

AFL Telecommunications, LLC

Suzana Cizmic

Robert Bosch LLC

Sheria Clarke

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Patrick Cleary

Bowman and Brooke LLP

Ashley Daugherty

Nephron Pharmaceuticals

Cole Dudley


Brian Fast

First Citizens Bank

Tanuja Garde

Raytheon Technologies

Mary Gentry


James Gergen

CPM Federal Credit Union

Mark Giuliani

ABB Motors and Mechanical Inc.

Jason Hong

Carnegie Mellon University

Jane Hood

Santee Cooper

Ernest Kapopoulos, Jr.

Duke Energy, Robinson Nuclear Plant

Douglas Kim

Kim and Lahey Law Firm, LLC

Christopher Madden

Michelin North America, Inc.

Jill Menhart


Michele Pridgen

Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc.

Jim Rourke

Nexsen Pruet

Michael Shetterly

Ogletree Deakins

Karen Smith


Heather Srulevich

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Paul Westelaken

MTU America, Inc.

Jun Xu

Brighton Best International, Inc.

Beth Dinndorf

GSSM Foundation Executive Director

Howard Daniel

Member Emeritus

Harris DeLoach, Jr.

Member Emeritus

Emerson Gower

Member Emeritus

Senator Gerald Malloy

Member Emeritus

M. Sellers

Member Emeritus

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/17/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/17/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.