SCATE Center Conducts S-STEM Tech Stars 2020 Spring Orientation

Tech Stars project contributes to the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians

SCATE Center Conducts S-STEM Tech Stars 2020 Spring Orientation

Students new to the Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC)’s S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Tech Stars Scholarship program participated this spring (February 12, 2020) in a more in-depth orientation. Supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Tech Stars allows FDTC to provide at least thirty scholarships annually to financially needy, academically talented students through the Virtual Cyber Generation Tech Stars (VCGTS) scholarship program.

IMG 7090The Tech Stars project contributes to the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians by assisting high achieving, low-income students with demonstrated need who major in one of the three related associate degree STEM programs within FDTC's Division of Technical and General Education, such as Computer Technology/Network Systems Management, Industrial Technologies, or Engineering Technologies.

The FDTC Tech Stars’ scholarship model combines both evidence-based and innovative new practices that will close the digital divide for diverse scholars and support cohesive student cohorts to advance students' knowledge and understanding of STEM careers and the skilled technical workplace. The model includes faculty mentoring, Z-Space laptop technical support, customized financial assistance, academic supports, personal coaching, and resource connections.

In an effort to ease students’ apprehension to finding FDTC’s resources and IMG 7114on-campus support, the Tech Stars Scholarship Program orientation, “Lunch and Learn” session was held on February 12, 2020, for approximate twenty-five Technology degree-seeking students. The session was organized so students could learn more about the Tech Star scholarship requirements, financial aid, personal responsibility, academic, and student support opportunities, résumé building, student internship opportunities, and more.

The South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SCATE) Center of Excellence administers the National Science Foundation’s S-STEM grant program. “There have been some really great conversations at these sessions,” said Rick Roberts, Managing Director, SCATE. “A lot of their questions are about how students can become and remain involved, discover opportunities to connect with other students, on-campus support, access to internships, and a lot more. For us, the orientation help to keep the students on the proper path to guide their journey here at FDTC.” The Tech Stars’ orientation is the first step in building a cohort of students that can support and assist each other as they maneuver through the college experience.

IMG 7091Tech Star students that could not attend the orientation session or desire additional information can speak individually with Roberts to review program requirements and expectations as well as how to connect with internship opportunities from local and regional industry partners.

For more information about the Tech Stars Scholarship Program, please visit or call us at 843-676-8547.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1003733. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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