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New Graduate Degree in Educational Technology Announced

The University of South Carolina Aiken (USCA) and the University of South Carolina (USC) Columbia have established a new graduate degree in Educational Technology. The focus of the program is to develop capabilities essential to the effective design, evaluation, and delivery of technology-based instruction and training (e.g., software development, multimedia development, assistive technology modifications, web-based development, and distance learning) in order to (1) prepare educators to assume leadership roles in the integration of educational technology into the school curriculum, and (2) to provide graduate-level instructional opportunities for several populations (e.g., classroom teachers, corporate trainers, educational software developers) that need to acquire both technological competencies and understanding of sound instructional design principles and techniques.
The program will begin in the Fall of 2002. Separate faculty at both Columbia and Aiken will offer AETE/EDET 603. AETE/EDET 709 will be offered by a faculty member from Columbia and will be available in Aiken via distance education.

Student Programs Registration for 2002-2003!

Keep your eyes open for the 2002-2003 Student Programs Booklet and registration form. We will be mailing a copy to each school's Principal, Science Department Chairperson and Math Department Chairperson around April 15th. You will be able to find the information on our website at by that date. We've added some great new programs!

Our programs fill up fast and are scheduled on a first come first served basis, so make plans early.

Family Earth and Sky Night
Spring Star Party and Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 20, 2002
6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

Hosted by: The Augusta Astronomy Club, the Dupont Planetarium, and the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center

Astronomy Activities: The planetarium show, "The Voyager Encounters", will be available for viewing. Activities will begin at dusk and continue until about 11:00 p.m. Activities will include planetarium shows, viewing of stellar objects through telescopes and lectures on astronomy. The viewing of stellar objects and lectures are free, but there will be a charge for the planetarium shows. Planetarium shows will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The shows will begin on the hour with the first show at 7:00 p.m. The free astronomy lectures will begin at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Featuring a Planetary Alignment: From our perspective on earth, there are times when the planets appear to be aligned in the night sky. In space, the planets are usually not in a straight line so the term alignment is really not accurate. The last time that there was such an "alignment" was in the fall of 1997. On April 20, 2002, all five of the visible planets will be seen together just after sunset and will be highlighted by a first quarter moon.

Celebration of our Earth: Join us between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. as we celebrate our wonderful Earth. Fun filled family activities will include: the Earth Day Groceries Project, recycled art, bird house construction, paper making, and many more FREE hands-on Earth Day projects.

The Family Earth and Sky Night will be held rain or shine at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at USC Aiken. Free refreshments will be available. Plan to bring friends and your whole family to a fun-filled evening of celebration.


Saturday Academy/Summer Institute

The USC Aiken GEAR UP program is in its third year of implementation. Since 1999, it has served 148 middle school students each of whom had an opportunity to study on the USC Aiken campus for up to 200 hours. In addition, students have visited other colleges and universities, museums, industries, and field-study sites. Students in the program attend one of the six local GEAR UP middle schools. The program focuses on improving academic performance, developing good study habits, college preparation, and career planning. Two of the GEAR UP schools sponsor a GEAR UP exploratory class and after school homework center.

We are in the process of recruiting students from the sixth grade population who are interested in enrolling in the 2002-03 Saturday Academy, which begins in the fall of 2002. Once in the program, students are expected to remain active throughout their seventh grade year and half of their eighth grade year. Five young women in Cohort 2 of the program decided at the end of their scheduled GEAR UP experience that they could not give it up. Even after participating for 30 Saturdays, they just kept coming. These persevering eighth graders from A.L. Corbett Middle School&emdash;Ashley Staley, Kendra Bessix, DeAnna Gantt, Ashley Jackson, Ebony Cue, and Saavedra Williams-have become eighth grade mentors who assist the seventh graders with their math, science and technology activities.

The seventh graders are developing entries for the second annual GEAR UP Design and Engineering Competition sponsored by the local Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Students employ essential team-work skills, problem-solving abilities, and writing talents as they try to impress their parents with their mechanical creations.

As rising eighth graders, students will continue in the program in a three-week summer institute. During the summer they will travel to the Citadel to compete in the Second Annual GEAR UP Summer Academic Olympics. A few students will have an opportunity to compete for a scholarship to attend the Governor's School for Science and Mathematics at Coker College this summer. Students in the USC Aiken GEAR UP site succeeded in landing four such scholarships last summer.

USC Aiken Presents: Kids in College
Summer + Kids = Bored Kids
Summer + Kids in College = Active, Happy Kids
The office of Continuing Education at USC Aiken will offer its popular Kids in College program. An array of fun and educational camps will be offered to rising 2nd through rising 8th graders. Subjects include Archeology, Computers, Math, World Cultures, Music, Art, Drama, the Great Outdoors, and much more. This year, campers will have the option of a half-day or full-day educational camp program. Camps will begin at 9:00 am Monday-Friday and end each day at 4:00 pm. Supervised early drop-off will be available at 8:00 am and supervision will be offered until 5:30 pm for late pick-up. Brochures on Kids in College will be available in April. Below is a sample of camps being offered:
Geography Camp:  "Where in the World Are We?"
July 22-26, 9:00a.m.-noon, rising 5th-7th graders
We will have fun using maps, compasses, and games to find our place, and other places, in the world.  We'll use hands-on activities to learn about different kinds of maps, especially topographic maps, and we'll learn to use compasses both with maps and outside in orienteering games.  Each student will pick a country and make a relief map or collage of that country during the week, and we'll play a variety of geography games, on and off the computer.
Astronomy Camp: "To Infinity and Beyond"
July 29-Aug.2, 1:00-4:00p.m., rising 2nd-4th graders
Students will tour the heavens in the high-tech Dupont Planetarium as they participate in prepared shows and live presentations.  Their guide will explain the names and locations of constellations, bright stars, and planets and will demonstrate daily and annual motions.  We will use hands-on activities to discover the properties of and relationships among the sun, the moon, and the planets in our solar system.  We will also use telescopes, learn how they extend our knowledge of the heavens, and see fabulous images from the Hubble Space Telescope. 
"Discover Carolina from the Mountains to the Atlantic"
TBA, Mon-Wed: 9am-12pm, rising 5th-8th graders
Thursday : 7am-7:30pm-Trip to Charelston Beaches and South Carolina Aquarium
This camp will introduce students to the wonders of South Carolina's diverse regions. Join us as we discover physical and living characteristics that make South Carolina's five regions unique. This camp is designed to include math, science, geography, craft and cultural activities that will help campers understand the diversity of South Carolina. The highlight of the camp is a culminating trip to the South Carolina Aquarium and the Beaches of Charleston.
"Take a Walk on the WEB Side"
July 15-19, 9:00-12:00, Rising 5-9
This week's camp will be designed as a hands-on web page design class. Participants will learn basic internet information, will be introduced to basic Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), and will design a personal web page(s) using a HTML editor. Interested students should have working knowledge of computers.
For a complete listing, more information or to receive a brochure please call Elese Cegelis at 641-3563 or Jean Haynes at 641-3288.

Natural Resources Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education Program
The Natural Resources Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education Program (NRSMEEP) downsized this year from four instructors to three in order to continue the program through the 2003/2004 school year. Anne Bohnet and Fonda Slongo have brought extensive experience, enthusiam, and fresh ideas to our program. Because of downsizing, we were not able to schedule as many classes as usual. The result has been a longer waiting list. Please get your applications in before May 10th, as we will begin scheduling for next year in mid May.
Please be aware of the following upcoming NRSMEEP Activities:
  • We have received a $25,000 grant from the Silver Bluff Audubon Center in Jackson, SC, to provide some of our programming at their site next year. If you apply to bring your students to NRSMEEP, you may be scheduled to visit that site instead of WSRC. They will be charging a $3.00 per student fee. We will still reimburse each school for transportation and substitute teacher costs. The Silver Bluff Audubon Center is a great, educational field trip site.
  • A free Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) workshop will be offered the week of June 3rd&endash;7th, M-F, 8:30am&endash;3:30pm. Participants in this summer training will become GLOBE teachers and their schools will become a GLOBE schools. There are currently about 7,000 GLOBE schools internationally where students collect environmental data (hydrology, atmosphere, biometry, land cover, and soils) around their school study sites. School data is then entered on the GLOBE web site for use by other students and scientists. Check out to see examples of data and to learn about the GLOBE program. If the workshop does not fill up, we will accept teachers for partial training or current GLOBE teachers who want follow up training. We plan to provide participants with $300.00 - $400.00 worth of GLOBE science equipment to help your students collect the data.
  • The "Woodsmanship/Hunter Education Day Camp" for students ages 12 to 18 will be offered the week of July 29th &endash; Aug. 2nd, M-F, 8:00 &endash; 4:30. High school and middle school boys and girls will benefit from this week-long summer day camp designed to enhance outdoor skills and knowledge of natural resource management. Experts will teach the skills of hunting deer, wild turkey, rabbits, doves, and other game animals. Woodsmanship and hunter ethics will be stressed. All participants will receive the hunter safety certification that the Department of Natural Resources requires for young hunters. The program will be held at the Savannah River Site. There will be a $100.00 fee for the camp.

Traveling Science and Mathematics Demonstrations Program
STRAND - Scientists with Traveling Resources And Neat Demonstrations
Remember that there are willing, eager and dynamic volunteers available for classroom visits. The STRAND program is designed to send real world scientists from Westinghouse into classrooms across the CSRA with hands-on activities in the areas of Mathematics and Science. Request your scientist soon at Already, there have been over 11,000 students reached by this program during the 2001-2002 school year.
Reserve your kits early. As more and more teachers discover the wonders of kit based science and math, the demand for our kits increases. Please remember to plan ahead! Reserve your kits today by visiting:
Contact Information:
Traveling Science Assistants:
Joseph Friar and Meredith Owens
Director: John Hutchens

Auction! Auction!

Come support the Augusta-Aiken Audubon Auction for Education on May 18th!

The auction raises money that is given to local teachers who apply for grants and supports Audubon Adventures and Cornell feederwatch programs in our local schools. This benefit will be located at the North Augusta Community Center off of East Buena Vista in North Augusta. Preview of items and the silent auction will start at 6:00pm. The live auction will start at 7:00pm. There will be many exciting items including: A weekend at the Silverbluff Audubon Sanctuary's cabin, nature books, collectibles, bird feeders, and much more! Food and beverages will be available. For more information or to donate items please contact Mark Komoroski at 471- 9038 or Paul Koehler 827-0781.

Check Out This Summer Employment and Professional Development Opportunity!
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards™ (NBPTS) is seeking teachers in the following certificate areas as scorers of portfolio or assessment center exercises.

HONORARIUM: $125.00 per day
BONUS: $300.00 candidate fee waiver when applying for National Board Certification® in 2002-2003
Baccalaureate degree
Valid Teaching License/Certificate
Currently be teaching in the certificate area at least half-time or be a National Board Certified Teacher
Three years of teaching experience in a pre-K-12 classroom
Not be a current or non-achieving candidate for National Board Certification
Successful completion of assessor training (provided by NBPTS)



Early Childhood through Young

Adulthood/Library Media (ages 3-18+)

July 8-26, 2002

Early and Middle Childhood/Art

(ages 3-12)

July 8-19, 2002

Early Adolescence/Science

(ages 11-15)

July 8-26, 2002

Early Adolescence/Social

Studies-History (ages 11-15)

July 8-26, 2002

Early Adolescence through Young

Adulthood/Art (ages 11-18+)

July 8-26, 2002

Early Adolescence through Young

Adulthood/Music (ages 11-18+)

July 15-26, 2002

Early Adolescence through Young

Adulthood/World Languages Other

than English (ages 11-18+)

July 8-26, 2002

Scoring sessions will begin at 8:30 AM and end at 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday, although Saturday scoring may be required. Lunch will be provided. NBPTS cannot reimburse assessors for travel or lodging expenses.

Information subject to change. Please call 1-800-22TEACH or visit their Web site at for updates and further details.
"Be a part of this professional development opportunity!"


Did You Know?

Hares and rabbits often run and hide from their enemies, but when confronted with no place to run, rabbits will fight vigorously with biting and kicking and punching.

2002 Robert E. Alexander
K-12 Outstanding Administrator Award
Call for Nominations

Award Description: The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center is calling for nominations for the Robert E. Alexander K-12 Outstanding Administrator Award. This annual award is given to a school administrator or a school district administrator who has done an outstanding job in promoting and supporting high quality science and mathematics education for all students. The recipient of the award will receive a plaque and a $250 check to be handed out at the annual joint advisory board and coordinating committee meeting on Friday, May 3, 2002, 7-9 p.m.
Eligibility: Superintendents, District Office Administrators, School Principals, and Assistant Principals from the Central Savannah River Area of South Carolina and Georgia are eligible for the award.
Nomination Procedure: Eligible candidates can be self-nominated or nominated by a colleague (i.e. teacher, principal, parent, district administrator).
Included in the nomination should be a letter of nomination, which provides evidence that the nominee supports high quality science and mathematics education for all students. Samples of evidence include:
  • Innovative use of funds to support science and/or mathematics instruction.
  • Innovative use of time to provide professional development for teachers of science and/or mathematics.
  • Innovative scheduling to provide for adequate instructional time in science and/or mathematics.
  • Innovative use of staff to improve science and/or mathematics instruction.
  • Innovative professional development practices to enhance the skills of science and/or mathematics.
Also included in the nomination package are three letters of recommendation: one from a teacher, one from another administrator, and one from a parent.
Nomination Deadline: Nomination packages should be postmarked by April 5 and sent to:
Gwen Johnson
Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
471 University Parkway
USCA-Box 3
Aiken, SC 29801
If you have questions about the award or the nomination procedure call Ms. Johnson at (803) 641-3552 or e-mail her at

Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) for K-12 Teachers in
Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell,
& Edgefield Counties



3 hours Graduate Credit


Gloria Allen, Director, CSRA Hub

Course Number:

AEDU 633


July 8 &endash; July 26, 2002

8:30 a.m. &endash; 3:30p.m.


Ruth Patrick Science Education Center 209

Materials Fee:

$150 ($75 for Aiken County Teachers)

Course Description: The CSRA Hub will offer a Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) this summer for K-12 teachers of mathematics and science in the Aiken, Edgefield, Barnwell, and Allendale County school districts. The purpose of the SSI Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) is to identify the most successful teachers of mathematics and science, K-12, and to support their professional growth as instuctional leaders. The CLI provides participants with special professional development experiences that prepare them to assist other teachers and schools in their efforts to improve their mathematics and science instructional programs. The institute will focus on the development of leadership skills and growth of professional knowledge.
Beyond an outstanding opportunity for professional growth, the benefits for teachers who participate as Teacher Leaders include:
  • statewide recognition as leading professionals in their field
  • a unique K-12 perspective on learning and teaching math and science
  • a $600 stipend and materials package each summer
  • three hours of graduate credit each summer for a total of six hours is anticipated
  • recertification credit
  • tools and techniques to assist teachers in teaching problem solving skills that help students perform better on standardized tests such as the PACT
  • immediate access to curriculum materials and other resources and information provided through the HUBs
  • participation in other leadership opportunities identified or sponsored by the HUB
  • opportunities and support to provide workshops/seminars for other teachers in the HUB region or statewide.
Nominees should submit an application packet consisting of (1) a signed application cover sheet describing the candidate's current teaching status, (2) a one to two page resume, and (3) a small portfolio of teacher prepared materials and practices. The application packet should be submitted to the CSRA HUB office by Monday, April 15, 2002.
To apply for the CLI, teachers should see their principal, math or science department chair, or call the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at (803) 648-3313 for an application packet.

DuPont Planetarium Shows for Summer Groups - Featuring the Digistar "Laser Fantasy" show

Digistar "Laser Fantasy" and Sky Tonight Presentation
June, July, August
Learn about the stars, constellations and planets visible in our night sky. Then, take a wild ride with the unique "laser" graphics of the Digistar projection system. Enjoy the soothing music and visual parade of shapes that move across the 30-foot planetarium dome. Drive through space with the cameo appearances of the "Space Truck." Finally, take a fast-paced trip through an amusement park and enjoy a ride on the virtual roller coaster. You will be truly amazed by the wild ride you will experience.

Follow the Drinking Gourd - June
This show takes a look at the features of the night sky and how slaves used astronomy and song to escape to freedom.

Mauna Kea - June
Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano and is the highest point in the Pacific basin. This high, dry place with its tropical sky and dark heavens has made Mauna Kea one of the best observing places on our planet. This planetarium show will provide a glimpse into the heavens and an opportunity to learn about the amazing discoveries and capabilities of the variety of unique telescopes that are found on Mauna Kea.

Larry Cat in Space - July, August
This is a playful and imaginative presentation about an inquisitive cat who takes a trip to the moon.

More Than Meets the Eye - July, August
This is a wonderful show for anyone interested in astronomy. Learn how to identify objects in the night sky using your naked eye, binoculars, and telescopes.
During the summer of 2002, the Dupont Planetarium will make special show times available for groups. The shows will be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 641-3769.
The Explorers of Mauna Kea
Follow the Drinking Gourd.
Digistar "Fantasy" and Sky Tonight Presentation.
July and August
Larry Cat in Space
More than Meets the Eye.
Digistar "Laser Fantasy" and Sky Tonight Presentation.
The standard shows for student groups are $2 per student. One chaperone is admitted free for every 10 students. Extra adults are charged $4 per person and extra senior citizens are charged $3 per person. [There is a minimum charge of $25 for student groups.]
The Digistar "Laser Fantasy" and Sky Tonight Presentation is $3 per student. One chaperone is admitted free for every 10 students. Extra adults are charged $5 per person and extra senior citizens are charged $4 per person. [There is a minimum charge of $35 for student groups.]
Call 641-3769 for rates for non-student groups and for scheduling.

RPSEC Newsletter Index

RPSEC Home Page

The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center Newsletter is a publication of the RPSEC for educators.The Center encompasses the CSRA HUB, CEET, Dupont Planetarium, and NRSMEEP. If you have any information that would be beneficical to the audience of this newsletter, or would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the Editor, Cindy Sparling, at (803) 641-3594. Deadline for submission in the next newsletter is March 15, 2003
 Copyright © 2000 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.

Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
Center of Excellence in Educational Technology
University of South Carolina Aiken
171 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801

 URL: (April, 2002)