SC Stem Educator of the Year 2021

This Award Is Made Possible By: 


The 2021 STEM Educator of the Year is Amy Baldwin

Amy Baldwin is a Gateway to Technology teacher at Oakbrook Middle School, working specifically with 6th-8th grade. She is currently in her 21st year of teaching, all at Oakbrook Middle. 

Amy received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Charleston Southern University and her Masters of Education with a focus on Interdisciplinary STEM Education from the Citadel. Since 2013,  Amy has collaborated with several STEM stakeholders including Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, Google SC, Boeing, South Carolina State Museum, Microburst, Air Force Association, and Learning Blade as well as the Oakbrook Middle and Elementary Parent-Teacher Associations. She worked with Google to test and develop their CS First program in South Carolina.  In the fall of 2017, She began serving on the Dorchester District Two Soft Skills Committee.  The goal was to develop a comprehensive soft skills program for Oakbrook’s district. During the 2017-2018 school year, Amy piloted Microburst in my STEM classes.  

Amy’s platform was “Changing the Face of STEM”, designed to encourage more girls and minorities to join STEM programs and educate them on careers and futures in STEM-related fields. This was done through “Girl Power” events in 2019 and more informational sessions throughout the year. Amy has received two grants to expand the Girl Power initiative.  The first grant from the Dorchester District 2 Education Foundation to purchase Ozobots for hands-on coding. The second grant from the Air Force Association to purchase wooden planes for learning more about aerospace engineering.

South Carolina faces two converging challenges for the future of its students and workforce: first, a critical shortage of public school educators, particularly in STEM areas; and second, the changing nature of jobs requiring an advanced understanding of STEM content areas and the skills required to tackle complexproblems. The state will need to significantly increase its number of STEM educators in order to meet the demands of an evolving economy. 

The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness through its SCTech initiative, and in partnership with S2TEM Centers and the Citadel STEM Center are pleased to announce the “2021 SC STEM Educator of the Year.” This year’s award is also sponsored by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, Bojangles, and Comporium Communications. 

This award is for teachers who are making a significant difference in the lives of students across the state by providing excellent curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning and inspiring a passion for STEM beyond the classroom and into the future. We understand the importance of what you do and we want to honor one teacher from each of the five STEM regions with an award just for you!

The 2021 SC STEM Educator of the Year Finalists

  • Amy Baldwin, 6th to 8th Grade Gateway to Technology Teacher, Oakbrook Middle School, Dorchester District Two, Ladson
  • Dr. Nicole Yemothy, PLTW Gateway Teacher, R.H. Gettys Middle School, Pickens County School District, Easley
  • Elizabeth Martin, 7th & 8th Grade Science & Math Teacher, Sanders Middle School, Laurens County School District 55, Laurens
  • Susan Mathews, Science Teacher, Richland Northeast High School, Richland School District Two, Columbia, and,
  • Whitney Camacho, 4th Grade Teacher, McColl Elementary Middle School, Marlboro School District 1, McColl


  • Must be a full-time, active, certified, public K-12 classroom STEM teacher (science, technology, engineering or mathematics)
  • Spend the majority of the school day involved in direct instruction to students
  • Be skilled in implementing effective teaching strategies
  • Be able to explain personal teaching philosophy
  • Be able to inspire students in STEM-related topics
  • Show involvement and leadership in student-related extra-curricular activities
  • Be respected by students, parents, and co-workers

What Are We Looking For In The STEM Educator of the Year? 

  • Innovative – Unique ways to educate students to develop a curiosity in the STEM fields.
  • Outstanding – A true passion for STEM education and the minds you are molding
  • Worldly – Inspires students to see that STEM is all around us
  • Academic – Engage students in the classroom, preparing them for education and careers outside the classroom
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