Science Travels to South Carolina Students

Wednesday December 9, 2015

Do you know how to tell whether a bullfrog is male or female?

That’s OK; neither did most of the seventh-graders in Clio, South Carolina, at a South Carolina Aquarium program last week.

With Domtar’s sponsorship, a team of educators traveled from the aquarium in Charleston to Marlboro County, bringing a traveling exhibit and special experiments for students in the county school system.

Fifty students spent an hour learning about a few of the animals that live in the state’s ecosystem and about how the complex system of watersheds provides them a home.


The students tested water samples for temperature, pH levels and turbidity with guidance from aquarium educators. The students considered what kinds of natural or human activity might influence water’s characteristics and how that activity may help or harm animals that live in or near rivers, lakes or the ocean.

It’s a lesson Domtar knows well, and we’re proud of our work to use water wisely and return it cleanly.

The program ended with a petting zoo of sorts, featuring three live animals that are found in South Carolina: a large bullfrog, a diamondback turtle and a baby alligator.

Dr. John Lane, director of curriculum for Marlboro County Schools, said he was grateful to Domtar for helping bring the event to local middle-schoolers.

“These opportunities can spark new curiosity and interest in science, more than just learning facts in a classroom,” he said.
School of Discovery Principal, Toma Dees, said the program fits perfectly with the seventh-grade science curriculum, which made it especially exciting.

And if you’re wondering about the frog: The tympanic membranes just behind the frog’s eyes are a tell-tale sign. If the membranes are larger than the eyes, the frog is a male. If they are smaller or of equal size, the frog is female.