NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Palmetto Scholars Academy is designed to meet the educational needs of gifted learners, address their social and emotional needs, promote individual character development and instill a life-long love of learning.

The school is in it’s sixth year and has more than 400 students from across the lowcountry in sixth through 12th grade.

“The main focus: what does it look like to be accelerated in each subject? In sixth and seventh grade, they basically finish up typical middle school. Eighth through tenth grade finishes up most of the typical high school. Eleventh and 12th grade are in early college model,” Principal Dr. Tim Gott says.

Students are state leaders in robotics, cyber-security, beta club, and odyssey of the mind.

“In terms of our curriculum, we focus on research and our kids starting in 6th grade are learning how to ask the right questions and pursue their own learning,” Gotta added.

PSA students have received state and national recognition in the student space-flight experiments program. Three teams were chosen to send experiments to the international space station. Students will send up another experiment this fall.

“We’re studying the deformation of zinc whiskers. They’re small crystallizing structures that break off and dislodge into other computer components and NASA Goddard facility had to blow up their sender in order to negate the effects of these whiskers,” Eleventh grade student kayla captitan said.

In addition to AP and honors courses, PSA has a dual enrollment courses with Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston. PSA students are equipped with critical, creative, and collaborative skills.

Teacher Shannon Bassett says, “What I love about this school, students learn through inquiry and they learn that by applying critical thinking skills and creative thinking skills. So it’s a unique experience. It’s not a traditional method but they’re both thinking by converging ideas, taking a lot of pieces of information and coming up with a conclusion. [They are learning] also by divergent thinking skills it’s where they have that on problem and many different solutions.”

Students say they are motivated to be the best. Eleventh grade student Amore Evans says, “this is one of the most challenging schools I’ve been to. Everyone gets to be yourself here. No one shames you for who you are. Everyone accepts you for who you are and you’re cool no matter who you are.”

PSA was named the top charter school and the second best high school in South Carolina.

Coming up Friday, we’ll present Palmetto Scholars Academy with our Cool School Award.

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