U.S. Department of the Interior- -U.S. Geological Survey

USGS Southeastern Coastal Plain Project
Research and Outreach at St. Stephen Middle School

Hydrogeologic Research and Science Education at the St. Stephen Middle School, St. Stephen, South Carolina
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The St. Stephen Middle School Science Fair

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are conducting a cooperative, multi-year study of the hydrogeologic framework of the South Carolina Coastal Plain. One of the most important parts of this study is the drilling of continuously cored stratigraphic and hydrologic test holes. In the Spring of 1998, a test hole was drilled at the St. Stephen Middle School in St. Stephen, Berkeley County, South Carolina by the SCDNR and USGS in cooperation with the Santee Cooper Public Service Authority. The hole was drilled completely through the Coastal Plain sands and clays to a total depth of 1,824 feet.

The St. Stephen test hole was the fifth in a series of test holes drilled by the SCDNR-USGS Project at South Carolina schools. The use of public school land as drill sites provides the opportunity for students and faculty to observe, firsthand, a scientific research effort and to gain an understanding of earth-science problems. In keeping with events at the previous schools, a Science Fair conducted by SCDNR, Santee Cooper, and the USGS was held at the St. Stephen Middle School on May 15 and 19. Students, faculty, and visitors had the opportunity to observe the core samples, a fossil display, other drill-site equipment, and the drill rig. Discussions of geology and hydrology were provided by SCDNR and USGS scientists.

Hydrologist and students examine sediment cores Hydrologist Karen Waters (SCDNR)and St. Stephen students examine sediment cores from the St. Stephen drill hole.
Hydrologist and students study the flow of water through sand Michael Dale (SCDNR) and students conduct an experiment that illustrates the flow of water through natural sand.
Geologist and students Students discuss earth science with geologist Ralph Willoughby (SC Geological Survey).

Go to more pictures from the St. Stephen Middle School Science Fair

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Maintained by: G.S. Gohn, ggohn@usgs.gov; USGS, 926A National Center, Reston, VA 20192