Ruth Patrick Science Education Center


Administrator Award

New Staff

Contact Information


Did You Know?


Family Sky Night

SEPUP (Middle School Teachers)

Instructional Fair

Traveling Science

Mathematics Training

Undergraduate & Graduate Courses


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 in May 2003.
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. Award winners may reapply after three years.
Nomination Procedure: Eligible candidates can be self-nominated or nominated by a colleague (i.e. teacher, principal, parent, or district administrator).
The nomination packet should include the following:
1. Letter of nomination that highlights the evidence that the nominee supports high quality science, mathematics or technology educaiton (SMTE) for all students.
2. A 7-10 minute visual presentation depicting the administator's rold in implementing high quality programs for enhancing SMTE. the Visual presentation may be in a form of a powerpoint presentation on disk or CD or a videotape. It's contents may include (but not limited to) the following:
3. 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 Friday, March 7, 2003 and sent to:
Gwen Johnson, Director
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

Congratulations to Dr. Karen Blanset
Robert E. Alxander
K-12 Administrator of the Year Award 2002 Winner

The second annual recipient of the R.E.Alexander K-12 Administrator of the Year Award went to Dr. Karen Blanset from Millbrook Elementary School located in Aikn, SC. The K-12 Administrator Award is presented to a school administrator or a school district administrator in the RSEC Service Area who has done an outstanding job in promoting and supporting high quality science and mathematics education for all students. Nominations are made in the Spring of each year.

Dr. Blanset has been at Millbrook for six years and has an ability to provide innovative funding for the development, implementation, and professional staffing of a school based math and science laboratory, a supporer of their Outdoor Science Laboratory, developed and implemented a series of inquiry based instructional modules, and secured funding for an after-school tutorial program for at-risk learners.
She promotes professoinal development by encouraging and supporting her teachers to participate in district and state conferences, provides staff development time so these teachers can come back and share what they learned with their peers. She consistantly nominated lear teachers to participate in regional training in conjuction with the CSRA Hub. Demonstrating her commitment as an IInstructional Leader.

She developed a team of two teachers who work with 2 classrooms and split theior time between the students. This model guarantees that these students will receive quality instructional time in Math and Science daily. Her school achieved a rating of EXCELLENT on the state report card in 2001.

Contact Information*





Gloria Allen



Haneefah Cobbs



Linda Ferrel



Susan Huntley



John Hutchens



Gwen Johnson



Yvonne Kling



Diane Nicholson



Keith Pierce



Elisabeth Schussler



Gary Senn



Darlene Smalley



Cindy Sparling



Janice Weeks




First Floor

Traveling Science



Work Room







Second Floor

Work Room



Resource Room




Third Floor

Work Room 3a



Work Room 3b



*All extensions preceded by 641 when dialing from off USCA Campus.

All extensions preceded by 56 when dialing from within the USC phone system.
From Augusta, dial 278-1967 and request the extension.
NRSMEEP at US Forest Service located at SRS

Ann Bohnet


Jody Childs


Debbie Lindsay


Fonda Slongo



Did you know?
Snakes sneeze.

Family Earth and Sky Night
When: May 10, 2003 from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Where: DuPont Planetarium at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at USC Aiken - directions.
What: Telescope viewing, planetarium shows, astronomy lectures, hands-on activities.
Hosted by: The Augusta Astronomy Club, the Dupont Planetarium, and the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
The Family Earth and Sky Night will be held rain or shine. Free refreshments will be available. Plan to bring friends and your whole family to a fun-filled evening of celebration.
Telescope Viewing: A number of people from the Augusta Astronomy Club will have their telescopes available for the public to use. Come see many of the wonders of the heavens. This is a good opportunity to learn about telescopes, especially if you have been considering purchasing one. The RPSEC Observatory housing the giant Bechtel Telescope will also be open.
Planetarium shows: "More Than Meets the Eye", will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The shows will begin at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. The cost for planetariums shows are:
Astronomy Lectures: Lectures on astronomy topics will begin at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Hands-on Activities: A variety of hands-on activities will be available to help people understand the wonders of earth science and astronomy. Many of the activities will have materials you can take home with you including your very own star chart.

In Mathematics, Reading/Language Arts, Science and Technology
Focus Topic:
Promoting Educational Excellence for All Students
Saturday, January 25, 2003
USC Aiken
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
The sixth annual Instructional Fair in Mathematics, Reading/Language Arts, Science and Technology will be held at the University of South Carolina Aiken on January 25, 2003. Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. in the Business and Education Building (second-floor gym). Concurrent sessions and workshops will start promptly at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m.

The Instructional Fair is co-sponsored by the Central Savannah River Area, Bamberg-Calhoun-Orangeburg, Midlands, and Upper Savannah SC SSI Hubs, the USC Aiken Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, and local Public Schools. Our goal is to provide opportunities for K-12 teachers to learn and share educational initiatives and strategies designed to improve student achievement. Teachers may preregister by Friday, January 10, 2003. To pre-register, see your principal or department chair for a registration form or call the CSRA Hub at (803) 641-3594.
If you would like to present a session, but have not submitted a session proposal form, please contact one of the Hubs or other sponsors listed above and request a form.
Preregistration fee: $15.00 per person (includes lunch and refreshments)
On-site Registration Fee: $20.00 per person (does not include lunch and refreshments)

Career Cluster Mathematics Training
to be Offered Spring 2003
As a result of a partnership agreement among the State Department of Education, Center of Occupational Research and Development (CORD), and AT&T, thirty teachers form the Central Midlands Career Partnership, the Piedmont Tech Prep/School-to-Work Consortium, and the Aiken Tech Prep/School-Work Consortium will have the opportunity to receive career cluster mathematics training during the spring of 2003. The classes will be held at the USC Aiken, Ruth Patrick Science Education Center and are scheduled for January 17-18, February 21-22, and March 28-29. The participants will be 25 career and technology education teachers and five secondary mathematics teachers from the following counties: Abbeville, Aiken, Edgefield, Fairfield, Lexington, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, Richland and Saluda Counties.
The purpose is to enable career and technology education teachers to incorporate additional/higher mathematics concepts into classroom instruction and determine a process necessary to align career and technology mathematics requirements to state math standards. This course allows both academic mathematics teachers and career and technology teachers an opportunity to work together so that career and technology courses can support mathematics achievement through context and problem solving. Infusing mathematics skills into the career and technology areas is necessary to improve students' mathematics foundations, improve scores on state assessments, and increase the number of students taking advanced mathematics at the secondary level.

RPSEC Welcomes New Staff Members
The Center would like to welcome two new staff members, Susan Huntley, Student Programs Coordinator and Elisabeth Schussler, Student Programs Specialist.
Susan Huntley has a Masters in Education and has been teaching since she was 17 years old. She has worked as an instructor in a variety of settings including classes on media modeling, GED preparation, equestrian, self-defense, SAT Verbal, and wilderness living skills. Ms. Huntley teaches a variety of student programs including Animals with Backbones and Sound-sational Activities. About her brief experience at the RPSEC Susan saus, "So far, it has been exciting, challenging, full of variety and never boring."
Dr. Elisabeth Schussler is a botanist with a wealth of experience in environmental education and love for children. She has designed and directed informal science education programs which include teaching young people the ecology of wetlands and how to protect such valuable resources. Since Dr. Schussler joined the RPSEC staff, she has demonstrated her creativity, adaptability, and knowledge of science and mathematics. She is unsurpassed in flexibility and cooperation.
Both new Student Programs staff members share the enthusiasm and commitment of the RPSEC to deliver quality science, mathematics and technology education to CSRA citizens. Welcome aboard!!

Natural Resources Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education Program
A cooperative effort of the Department of Energy, the USDA Forest Service, and the University of South Carolina Aiken Campus
The Natural Resources Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education Program (NRSMEEP) has been providing the CSRA community with high quality programs which promote a better understanding of our natural resources. Over the last nine years over 100,000 student visits occurred on the Savannah River Site where science and math skills were enhanced. We have offered 100 teacher workshops with over 1000 teachers representing in excess of 100 schools from 16 counties across South Carolina and Georgia. Additionally, over 11,000 adults have participated as chaperones. The majority of this effort has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the US Forest Service Savannah River (USFS-SR). Unfortunately the DOE and USFS-SR have indicated that it will not renew our funding when the current budget ends in August of 2003. Our spending has been reduced enough to stretch the budget, enabling us to provide a limited program for the 2003-2004 school year. Additional funding through outside grants is continually being pursued.
Most of the students, teachers, and parents we serve are from Aiken, Richmond, and Columbia County School Districts. Request and proposals for funding have been submitted to each of the three school districts. In the request, each district is asked to provide enough funding to support one of the three instructors salary, benefits, and operating costs. Many of you support this program and will support our effort to maintain the integrity of NRSMEEP by acquiring funding from the local school districts. If you are in support of NRSMEEP, please let your school board know that you support this funding request. If you feel that the DOE should continue funding the NRSEEP program, please write your local, state, and congressional legislators and carbon copy the DOE, or write the DOE directly and send a copy to the legislators.
United States Department of Energy
Mr. Jeffrey Allison 703-A
P.O. Box A
Aiken, SC, 29802
This year we went to all-day programming. This allows much more time to carry out the lesson and make the students more accountable for the learning. Teachers have been very pleased with this change. Please submit your applications soon for next year if you want consideration.
Teacher Workshops Spring & Summer 2003
9:00am - 3:00pm
Register at or call 803-725-0070
GLOBE Refresher and/or Certification (K-12) ( (Wednesdays) January 15, 22, 29, 2003 (Free Teacher Resource Kit!)
Training protocols on January 15th: Atmosphere & Hydrology; 22nd:Soil; 29th:Landcover and Biology. Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment or GLOBE is an international program. Students collect data around and near your school and share it with scientists via internet. This is an excellent application of math, science, and computer skills.
Project Wet (K-12) Tuesday, February 25, 2003
This workshop delivers some great student activities involving aquatic study topics. Many of the activities could be done in the classroom without an outdoor water study site. We will do activities which relate to the science and math standards. Free guide is given to all participants!
GLOBE Training and Certification (K-12) ( Monday-Friday, June 2-6, 2003 (Free Teacher Resource Kit!)
Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment or GLOBE is an international program. Students collect data around and near your school and share it with scientists by internet. Includes portocols in atmosphere, soils, hydrology, land cover and biology, as well as computer training. This is an excellent application of math, science, and computer skills.
NRSMEEP will pay for substitute teachers. Workshops will be held at the Savannah River Site or the Audubon at Silver Bluff. 

Celebrate Christmas in the Planetarium with "'Tis The Season"

The annual holiday season favorite, "'Tis The Season" will be showing at the Dupont Planetarium during the month of December. Shows will be on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. This seasonal planetarium show has become an annual favorite for many of our patrons. If you have come before, plan on visiting again and make this special planetarium show an annual event. If you have never seen this show, you must plan on attending so that you can see what you have been missing.

'Tis the Season traces the development of many of the world's endearing holiday customs, and how they involve lighting up the winter season. The show also recounts the historical, religious and cultural customs practiced during the time of the winter solstice. Guests will see a few winter constellations and learn how the orbit of the earth around the sun causes seasons to occur. And, of course, we explore some possible astronomical explanations for the "Star over Bethlehem". 

The National Engineers Week Committee presents
SEPUP for Middle School Science Teachers
Sponsored By:
Westinghouse Savannah River Company (WSRC),
The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center & Lab-aids, Inc.
Friday January 24, 2003, 8:30 AM &endash; 3:30 PM
Limited Space: 20 participants! FREE SEPUP Solutions & Pollution Module!
Lunch is provided by WSRC, and for more information please contact Calvin Morrow at (803-952-6805).

Traveling Science and Mathematics Demonstrations Program (TSMDP)
The TSMDP would like to recognize once again the Westinghouse Volunteers for their participation in the STRAND (Scientists with Traveling Resources and Neat Demonstrations) Program. With their dedication they were able to touch the lives of over 20,000 students in over 197 classrooms across the CSRA during the 2001-2002 school year. The STRAND program is available to all teachers in the CSRA. If you are interested in requesting a visiting scientist please log on to:
The Traveling Science and Mathematics Demonstrations Program currently has over 350 kits available for checkout. The kits range in form from FOSS (K-6), STC (K-6), Museum to Go, CBL, Math and Science to Go, various teacher created kits and numerous other materials and resources. For a complete searchable and sortable listing of available kits please log on to: To schedule an information session for teachers at your school, please contact John Hutchens at 803-641-3474 or


Log on to to make your kit reservations.

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 or Deadline for submission in the next newsletter is March 1, 2003.

Copyright © 2002 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
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801

 URL: (December, 2002)