STEM education program in the Pee Dee to close its doors

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Science South, a STEM based education program, is closing its doors after nearly 20 years.

“I’m saddened by the event that’s happening, but I feel very positive of what we have accomplished,” said executive director of operations, Stephen Welch.

Board members decided it was time to shut their doors after helping more than 220,000 students in the area.

“The issue is funding, we are a non profit and a lot of our funding came through grants and the grant situation is becoming more and more competitive,” said Welch.

Over the years, the non-profit education organization provided hands-on training in hopes that students will learn the importance of technology, science, math and the careers that come with it.

“With our outreach programs we were going out to regular schools setting to do a program there and hopefully we had positive impact with many of those kids who didn’t see a potential in science,” said Welch.

School board members said funding wasn’t the only issue.

“A lot of the schools are creating their own STEM programs, for example Carve Elementary has a STEM lab set up and many school districts are moving to that and doing their own STEM development there,” said Welch.

Welch hopes students who attended their program learned a lot from them.

“Students are unhappy you know that it’s going to happen but again in the process hopefully something even better will spring fourth and hopefully the seeds that we planted with these kids will continue on,” said Welch.

Science South is set to close on June 30th.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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