Children holding a science project

Planning Your Visit

Student Programs

1. Request a Field Study

Offerings, program descriptions, and reservation request forms can be found on the main Science and Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) page.

Please be sure to adhere to the deadline found on the registration form. Requests received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list.

2. Confirm Your Field Study

All scheduling for the upcoming school year is done during the summer. Once your trip has been scheduled, you will receive a confirmation contract letter by email. Please use your school email address. Confirmation contract letters MUST be sent by reply back to RPSEC by the date specified to avoid cancellation.

3. Rescheduling a Visit

It is highly unlikely that we will be able reschedule a visit unless another school cancels.  You can request to be put on a waiting list, and will be contacted if an opening occurs.

4. Cancellations

We must receive written notification of cancellation at least FOUR weeks in advance of reserved date or a $25.00 cancellation fee PER PROGRAM will be assessed.

5. Program Request Guidelines

  • Silver Bluff Audubon Center can accommodate up to 75 students/3 classes (K5 – Grade 12) per day. *Please note that some programs only allow 50 students/2 classes per day.
  • Savannah River Site can accommodate a maximum of 60 students/3 classes (Grades 3 – 12) per day. *Please note that some programs only allow for 50 students/2 classes per day. Some paperwork will be required for adult chaperones to SRS. A list of student names will also be required. Taylor Rice, Education Outreach Coordinator, will send all pertinent information required approximately a month prior to the field study at SRS.
  • We recommend that one teacher make a reservation for an entire grade level.
  • A normal field study day at Silver Bluff Audubon will begin at 9:15 and end at 1:00. Adjustments can be made upon arrival as necessary.
  • A normal field study day at Savannah River Site will begin at the badging office at 8:30 if possible, and the field study day will then begin at 9:15 and end at 1:15. Adjustments can be made upon arrival as necessary.

6. Lunch

There are picnic tables at both locations for the students and adults. Neither site has food, drinks, or microwaves available.

7. Chaperones

  • Adult chaperones are welcome and encouraged to attend. One chaperone per 8 students should be a minimum.
  • Adult chaperones are asked to help monitor the students at all times.
  • To limit distractions, children that are not in the class attending the field study should not accompany chaperones.
  • All chaperones should turn off cell phones during programming.

8. Student Program Fees

  • Silver Bluff Audubon Center - $4.50 per student per day.
  • No cost at Silver Bluff Audubon Center for teachers or chaperones.
  • Savannah River Site – no cost for students, teachers, or chaperones.

9. Academic Standards

All STEP Field Studies are aligned with South Carolina academic standards. Most programs consist of a lab study, field study, and eco-hike during which students are actively engaged in hands-on, inquiry-based learning. South Carolina standards correlations and some pre- and post- activities can be found on our website.

Learn more about the Science and Technology Enrichment Program (STEP)

10. Contact Information

Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway

Telephone: 803-641-3313

Fax: 803-641-3615

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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