AFL Awards $5K Grant to SC GSSM Foundation for Summer STEM Camps

Spartanburg, SC – AFL, a manufacturer of fiber optic cable, connectivity and equipment, presented a $5K grant to the SC Governor’s School for Science + Mathematics (GSSM), which seeks out and advances South Carolina’s most talented and motivated students. The grant is made possible by AFL’s Community Outreach Program and will provide financial aid for students interested in 2022 summer camps including iTEAMS XtremeCREATEngGoSciTech and Summer STEM.

“In South Carolina, 14 of the top 20 fastest growing occupations are directly related to STEM. However, students in our state consistently score below average in the National Assessment of Educational Progress,” explained Elizabeth Dinndorf, J.D., executive director of the GSSM Foundation. “A week of STEM summer camp may not improve standardized test scores, but a week of in-depth STEM exploration and working with a team to solve real-world problems inspires students to cultivate their STEM skills and pursue further studies.”  

During GSSM summer camp, students are immersed in a single STEM topic. This deep dive focuses on building comprehension and an understanding of the connection between concepts and real-world applications. Students work in teams to conduct experiments, design and build prototypes, program robots, and other hands-on activities that correspond to the STEM topic of their camp. They document their work and results, and at the end of the camp they develop a presentation or demonstration to showcase their efforts and achievements. Four camps are offered and include:
  • iTEAMS Xtreme is a week-long computer science and robotics camp that serves rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Campers program microcontrollers to operate robots, design and program their own video games, and grow their digital communication skills.
  • CREATEng camps serve rising 7th, 8th and 9th grade students. Students apply the principles of engineering design to solve challenges through the lens of NASA engineers establishing a sustainable habitat on Mars. The focus is on civil, biomedical and aerospace engineering.
  • GoSciTech is a week-long residential camp for rising 8th, 9th and 10th grade students. Students are immersed in hands-on exploration of a STEM topic of their choice, such as astrophysics, pre-med and video game development.  
  • Summer STEM is a virtual camp for rising 6th through 10th grade students. Students receive two hours of live video conference instruction daily, coupled with offline time for projects and experiments.
GSSM annually serves more than 4,000 elementary, middle and high school students and teachers throughout South Carolina. Its students are among the top scorers statewide on Advanced Placement tests and college admissions tests such as the ACT and SAT. Celebrating 2,533 alumni, 100 percent of GSSM’s graduates attend college, 70 percent go on to earn graduate or professional degrees, and 77 percent work in STEM fields.

AFL’s Community Outreach Program includes grants, sponsorships, volunteer and environment initiatives, disaster relief, scholarships and more. For additional information on AFL, its products and services, visit

About AFL
Founded in 1984, AFL is an international manufacturer providing end-to-end solutions to the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets as well as several emerging markets. The company’s products are in use in over 130 countries and include fiber optic cable and hardware, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectivity, test and inspection equipment, fusion splicers and training. AFL also offers a wide variety of services supporting data center, enterprise, wireless and outside plant applications.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit Follow us on LinkedInXFacebook, and read our blog.

Corie Culp
Public Relations Manager, AFL