May 8, 2018: AFL and SCanSource Fund Unique STEM Program for SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Students

Corie Culp iwth AFL and Joel Douglass with ScanSource cut the ribbon to open Einstein's Workshop.
From left are: student Azael Cruz, Grant Burns with AFL, student Cailynn-Ann Campos, Josh Sigman with AFL, student Akeylah Howard, Corie Culp with AFL, Joel Douglass with ScanSource, Joan Burkett with ScanSource, student Heilyin Sanchez, Jason Motte with ScanSource, student Cameron Stitt, and Jill Kremer with ScanSource

AFL and ScanSource Fund Unique STEM Program
for SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Students

SPARTANBURG, SC –  Two Upstate technology companies have provided grants to fund a unique workshop for students at the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Funded by AFL and ScanSource, the workshop will encourage students to experiment, take risks, and explore their own ideas. The workshop, to be known as “Einstein’s Workshop,” will be designed to introduce students to career opportunities in science, technology, electronics, and math (STEM).

Einstein’s Workshop will enable students to learn about a subject in class and then create a product based on the principles they learned in the classroom. The workshop will be equipped with the educational materials necessary for students to practice robotics, electronics/circuits, coding/software, and environmental concepts.

Einstein’s Workshop will focus on students in first – eighth grades. “We want to give students a solid foundation for STEM classes in middle and high school that may lead to further training and a career aligned with the jobs present in and moving into South Carolina,” said Jennifer Stanion, lead principal of the SC School for the Deaf and Applied Academics. The US Department of Commerce reports that STEM occupations grew at a rate of 24.4% over the last decade (2005-2015) compared to 4 percent for non-STEM occupations. (STEM Jobs: 2017 Update, Office of the Chief Economist, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, )

“Students at the SC School for the Deaf and Blind will have a greater opportunity for STEM employment by using the tools and knowledge gained through this hands-on experience,” said Corie Culp, AFL community affairs manager.  “STEM education is a growing need not only in SC but also in the US and abroad. We look forward to seeing the results of this outstanding program.”

ScanSource, headquartered in Greenville, supported the project because they also value STEM education. “One of the main focuses of the ScanSource Charitable Foundation is to support children and educational initiatives in the communities in which ScanSource employees live and work,” said Joel Douglass, president of the ScanSource Charitable Foundation Board and sales manager at ScanSource. “As a technology provider, we understand the importance of STEM education in the Upstate and beyond, and we believe that all children, regardless of challenges they may face, should have the same access to STEM learning opportunities.”

Einstein’s Workshop will be inside the school’s centrally located library, an area that can be accessed by all of the school’s teachers. Collaborative efforts among teachers will be encouraged to broaden students’ interests and abilities. “The workshop will inspire confidence in young learners and help them develop entrepreneurial skills,” said Stanion.

The two grants for the workshop were obtained by the school’s foundation, the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. Foundation CEO Ann Akerman said, “We are grateful for the technology leadership demonstrated by AFL and ScanSource and for their commitment to the future employment of our students.”

About AFL: AFL is an international manufacturer headquartered in Duncan, SC that provides telecommunications solutions. Their products are in use in over 130 countries and include fiber optic cable and hardware, transmission, and substation accessories, outside and inside plant equipment, 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. Customers range from very large energy and service providers to small businesses installing fiber optic networks. With 4300 associates worldwide and 1,000 in the upstate of SC, AFL’s locations extend across the US, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, and the South Pacific.

About Scansource: ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, focusing on point-of-sale, payments, barcode, physical security, unified communications and collaboration, cloud and telecom services. ScanSource’s teams provide value-added solutions and operate from two segments, Worldwide Barcode, Networking & Security, and Worldwide Communications & Services. ScanSource is committed to helping its customers choose, configure, and deliver the industry’s best solutions across almost every vertical market in North America, Latin America, and Europe. Founded in 1992, the company is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina and was named one of the 2017 Best Places to Work in South Carolina. ScanSource ranks #647 on the Fortune 1000. For more information, visit

About the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation: Founded in 1979 for the sole purpose of working directly with the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind, the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to securing resources that enable the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind to achieve its mission and goals. For more information, visit

About the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind: Based in Spartanburg, the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind is the state’s specialized school for students who are deaf or blind. It offers pre K-12 educational programs on its main campus in Spartanburg and specialized vision and hearing services in school districts and homes throughout the state. For more information, go to .