Science PLUS Institute

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The Science PLUS (Participatory Learning, Understanding, & Sharing) Institute at Roper Mountain is a professional development program for South Carolina public and public charter school science teachers. We offer grade-specific, hands-on courses that emphasize the 2021 South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Science Standards. Courses that promote science process skills and inquiry-based instruction are available to teachers in grades K-12.

Founded in 1993, the Science PLUS Institute is funded by an Education Improvement Act grant (generated by state sales tax) and is governed by the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee. Since its inception in 1993, over 6,000 educators have participated in the Science PLUS Institute.  

Science PLUS Offerings for 2024

2024 Summer Science PLUS Institute Application

Please note:
Priority deadline for applications is Friday, April 19, 2024. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance or a waitlist decision by Friday, April 26, 2024.
Applications are accepted until the course is in session.

Summer 2024 Courses Offered:

  • 4th Grade Physical Science (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, June 10-13)

  • 5th Grade Space Science (2-day course meeting Mon-Tues, June 10-11)

  • 6th Grade Physical/Earth/Life Science (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, June 10-13)

  • 8th Grade Science (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, June 10-13)

  • Cornwell Collaborative Elementary - B (current participants only - Mon-Thurs, June 17-20)

  • 4th Grade Life Science (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, June 17-20)

  • 1st Grade Science Activities (2-day course meeting Mon-Tues, June 24-25)

  • 2nd Grade Science Activities (2-day course meeting Mon-Tues, June 24-25)

  • High School Biology (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, June 24-27)

  • Kindergarten Science Activities (2 Day course meeting Mon-Tues, July 8-9)

  • 3rd Grade Weather and Forces (3-day course meeting Mon-Wed, July 8-10)

  • 5th Grade Life/Physical Science (4-day course meeting Mon -Thurs, July 8-11)

  • 7th Grade Ecology (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, July 8-11)

  • High School Chemistry (4-day course meeting Mon-Thurs, July 8-11 AT FURMAN UNIVERSITY)

Science PLUS FAQs

How much does it cost for me to attend the Science PLUS Institute?
Attendance at the Science PLUS Institute is FREE for participants. This includes course instruction, lesson plans and science materials that you take back to your school, recertification credit, daily lunch, and hotel lodging (please see below for details). Travel per diems such as mileage and other meals are NOT included, but many participants ask their school and/or district to cover those costs.
Can you tell me more about the science supplies I will receive?
Our instructors pick science and classroom supplies that are engaging and useful. These supplies are yours to keep (these can move with you if you change schools or positions as long as you remain in the public/public charter school system). If you choose to leave the public/public charter school setting, we ask that you leave the supplies in your last assigned school. You will receive science and classroom supplies in the following allotments:
4-day course: Supplies worth approximately $1000 per participant
3-day course: Supplies worth approximately $750 per participant
2-day course: Supplies worth approximately $500 per participant
1-day course: Supplies worth approximately $250 per participant
½ -day course: Supplies worth approximately $150 per participant
What is the hotel lodging that is provided?
If you live more than 50 miles from the course location, the Science PLUS Institute will cover the cost of lodging in a shared room with another participant in a double occupancy room. If you prefer a single (private room), you will be responsible for the cost of lodging, but we will assist with booking your request at the discounted rate provided to us by our host hotel.
Can I attend the Science PLUS Institute if I teach in another state or in a private school?
No. The Science PLUS Institute is funded by the SC Education Oversight Committee using state tax money. Therefore, only SC public (or public charter) school teachers qualify for the professional development program.
What recertification/renewal credit will I earn?
You will receive an email with an official document of course completion stating the certificate renewal hours earned during your Science PLUS Institute course. You are responsible for complying with your district and/or SC SDE requirements for processing this credit, including ensuring that the course directly relates to your area(s) of certification or your professional development plan. You are also responsible for submitting the credit verification to your district or SC SDE. One hour of direct participation = one renewal credit. Common renewal credits earned at the Science PLUS Institute are listed below:
4-day course (30 contact hours) = 30 renewal credits
3-day course (23 contact hours) = 23 renewal credits
2-day course (15 contact hours) = 15 renewal credits
1-day course (8 contact hours) = 8 renewal credits
½-day course (4 contact hours) = 4 renewal credits
What graduate credit am I eligible for?
Graduate credit is currently available through Furman University at a discounted tuition rate of $110 per credit hour. If you have never taken graduate credits through Furman, you will be required to pay a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $55 in addition to the tuition cost. 4-day courses are eligible for 2 graduate credits, while 3-day and 2-day courses are eligible for 1 graduate credit hour. This graduate credit is helpful when used in conjunction with other graduate courses to obtain class level advancement of your educator certificate (for example, it can count toward the credits needed to advance from Bachelor’s degree to Bachelor’s + 18 hours or from Master’s degree to Master’s + 30 hours).
I was placed on a waitlist for the course. What does this mean?
If you receive an email notifying you that you have been placed on a waitlist, it means that the class is full. However, we routinely have participants who cannot attend, so there is still a chance a spot in a course will open up. Please keep your contact information updated so we can notify you if a spot opens for you.
What meals are provided?
We provide lunch daily during your course. We offer vegetarian options each day. Snacks and coffee are also provided.
Do you provide childcare?
The Science PLUS Institute does NOT provide child care. Children and other guests are not allowed to attend Science PLUS courses with participants and should not be brought to a shared hotel room with another participant.
How should I dress?
Dress comfortably with shoes appropriate for walking. Classroom temperatures can fluctuate, so we recommend wearing layers or bringing a light sweater/jacket.

If you have any further questions or have ideas for future courses, please contact us at:

Robin Walsh, Coordinator, at 864-355-8920 or
Lorraine Taylor, Assistant Coordinator, at 864-355-8916
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