Jeff's Corner

As usual, I am writing this under duress! In two days I will be leaving on a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. When I get back I immediately jump into two days of SC SSI meetings and two days after that I start my undergraduate biology class. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Poor baby! What would you do if you had a real job like teaching 30 students all day long! Well, I probably wouldn't last more than a week (Of course that might be optimistic!).

Since the last time I wrote a lot has happened. In June we learned that the State of South Carolina received another 5 year $5.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The award is based on both the merit of the first SSI and on the potential NSF sees in the educational system of South Carolina. This award is due to the hard work and dedication of the educators of South Carolina. Without your help in working with the South Carolina legislators to fund the Hubs, we would have not received the grant. So thanks to those who wrote their legislators and thanks to the legislators for seeing the importance of the Hubs and this initiative.

NSF calls the project Phase II of the SC SSI. We call it Project DATA. The focus of the project is to help teachers, administrators, schools and school districts meet the requirements set forth in the Education Accountability Act. Our major objective is to help school systems use data to drive professional development and to ensure that schools use the South Carolina Frameworks and South Carolina Curriculum Standards as the driving force behind their curriculum.

Although we will be concentrating on those schools in most need, we expect that by the end of year five, all schools will have been impacted in some form or fashion by the Phase II project. With the new project comes some new roles that our staff will be playing. On August 15 I will be stepping down as the Director of the CSRA Hub to become the Associate Director

of the SC SSI. However, I will maintain my duties as Director of the RPSEC. As Associate Director of the SC SSI I will be helping all the Hubs meet the goals and objectives of the Phase II project. Ms. Gloria Allen will be taking over the duties as Director of the CSRA Hub. You shouldn't notice any difference in the services provided by the Center or the Hub.

Another exciting piece of news is that construction of the addition to the Center began on July 6. The targeted completion date is July 6, 1999. You can keep apprised of its progress by visiting our Web Page (http://rpsec.usca.sc.edu).

Finally, if you watched "Out of Africa" and fell in love with the scenery, or if you watched Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler chase lions or cheetahs on the television show "Wild Kingdom", then you you can understand my excitement over my trip of a lifetime. For 16 days this past May/June, I camped and explored 6 National Parks of Kenya. I, along with John Morris (my major advisor from Florida Tech) and 8 of his students visited Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Lake Baringa, Lake Bogoria, Samburu and Amboseli. We saw just about everything possible from lions, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants, to giraffes, water buffalo, ostrich and rhinos (both black and white). Everything depicted in "Out of Africa" and in "Wild Kingdom" is true. It is truly an unbelievably beautiful country. I am already counting the days until I can return. On September 24 I will be sharing my experiences for those who have an interest in Africa and who may want a similar experience. So mark September 24, 7:00 p.m. on your calendar.

Well, its getting late and I've exceeded my allotted space. By the time you see this you will be back in school. I hope you have had a peaceful summer and are ready for the challenges of the new year. I know we at the RPSEC/CSRA Hub are excited about the new year and what it will bring. We wish you luck as another year begins. As always, thank you for your support and let us know how we can better serve you.


Copyright © 1998 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.

URL: http://rpsec.usca.sc.edu/ /newsletter/98sept/corner.html (September, 1998)

Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
Center of Excellence in Educational Technology
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801
803-648-6851