The Florence-Darlington Technical College-based Tech Stars scholarship program has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program (S-STEM). The “Cyber Generation” Tech Stars program marks the third time that FDTC has received the award from NSF, which is awarded through a competitive grant proposal application process. To date, more than 260 FDTC Engineering, Industrial and Computer Technology students have received funds for laptop computers, tuition, books and supplies. Many Tech Stars also participate in the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Scholars internship program at FDTC. A special feature of the FDTC Tech Stars scholarship project is the loan-to-own laptop computer program, which provides a strong incentive for Tech Stars to maintain their scholarships and to complete programs on time. Each eligible student receives a laptop computer for use while enrolled at the college. Automotive students receive an automotive diagnostic tool. Students are provided with software required for theirmajor, and the software remains with the laptop when they leave the college, making graduates job-ready or well-equipped for future study towards a baccalaureate degree at another institution. Upon graduation, ownership of the laptop computer or tool is transferred to the student. To be eligible for the program, students must enroll full-time in an eligible major, have their prerequisites completed, have a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need. Eligible programs for FDTC students include:Automotive Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, Civil/Graphics Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology/Nuclear, Machine Tool Technology and Network Systems Management. The S-STEM program was created by the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships for students participating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. For more information, contact Tressa Gardner at (843) 676-8559, or tressa.gardner@ fdtc.edu.