Can you believe that summer is already over and school has started? The last time I looked at my calendar it was May!!! I trust everyone had a productive (and restful....is that a legitimate word?) summer. I know in the last Jeff's Corner I promised to cover the "a" word (accountability) in this Jeff's Corner. However, our newsletter editorial staff (read that as Angie!) very politely asked me (not more than two minutes ago) when she can expect Jeff's Corner (interpret this as she wants Jeff's Corner and she wants it now!). Since I have not gotten the input for my original Jeff's Corner, I will have to fill this Corner with, for lack of a better word,.....fill!
I have now been back from Alaska for 9 days and am just now feeling like I am on South Carolina time.....it must be the declination (an inside joke for those who attended the trip!.....trivia question.....what is the declination of Anchorage, Alaska?....you can e-mail me your response at firstname.lastname@example.org). As most of you know, each summer a group of teachers allows me the privilege of tagging along and experiencing with them, their first experiences in the local ecology of some part of the world. This summer we experienced Alaska like Alaska should be experienced......camping!!!! We learned how to be environmentally responsible while camping (we now have a whole new understanding of what it means "if you pack it in, you pack it out". Personally I gained a lot from the experience. For example, there are a lot of different natural objects that can be used as toilet paper! (caution: smooth rocks are better than jagged rocks!) Also, never eat anything that is named soapberry!
On the home front, the Center/Hub kept busy as usual this summer. We have a new group of CLI (Curriculum Leadership Institute) graduates to help in our efforts in science and mathematics reform. Speaking of reform, have you read the Science Achievement Standards draft released this July? If not, you need to get a copy and read it as soon as possible. Your comments are needed. Remember, this is what will drive the science assessment for years to come. This year should be an exciting one. The Center/Hub will again be working with a number of schools to help them with their science and mathematics curricula. I am particularly excited about our North Aiken project. Thanks to the support from the school district and the SC CHE, North Aiken will be using "Everyday Mathematics" and "FOSS" for mathematics and science respectively. The teachers from that school have worked hard over the past two weeks getting ready to use these materials. Good luck to them during this upcoming school year! Good luck also goes to Merriwether Elementary school who is also intending on using FOSS during the upcoming school year.
In addition to the above, the Center/Hub will be offering its usual number of science and mathematics courses. This year, we are hoping that the SC CHE will grant USCA the ability to run the Interdisciplinary Master's of Arts Degree in the Natural Sciences on its campus. This will enable teachers to use the Center/Hub for advisement instead of having to drive to USC. We will let you know the status of this program as soon as we know it.
The RPSEC has grown again this year. We are proud to announce the hiring of Ned Shuler to the staff of the Natural Resources Science, Mathematics, Engineering Education Program. Ned has twenty-four years of teaching experience and will make a fine addition to our family.
Keep your eyes open for our new planetarium program, "Through the Eyes of the Hubble", which we hope to premiere sometime in September. Also check out our WWW page. It's improving all the time.
Finally, sometime in October, we will be sending out an information survey to all elementary school teachers, and all science and mathematics teachers at the middle school and high school levels in the CSRA. This survey will help us assess our performance and also help us set new goals for the future. When you receive the survey, please take the time to complete it. We can't meet your needs unless we know what they are.
We wish everyone a happy and productive year. Please drop us a line or come by to say hello and let us know how we can better serve you.