Skip Navigation

KSC Becomes GEMS Site for Elementary Teachers to Explore Math and Science Lessons

KEENE, N.H. 8/23/05 - This fall Keene State College will become one of the newest Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) sites in the U.S., where elementary teachers in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts can explore math and science lessons for their students.

Keene State will launch the GEMS site with a two-day, hands-on workshop for elementary teachers on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15. This specialized workshop will help them learn to introduce mathematics and science principles to their students through a variety of engaging lesson plans that provide direct experience through experimentation. Workshop presenters will include educators from the KSC GEMS site and the Lawrence Hall of Science, the public science education center at the University of California at Berkeley, where the GEMS network originates.

The KSC GEMS co-directors are Deborah Black, Ed.D., and Erik Bell, M.Ed. In addition to teaching math and science in their own classrooms, both have received associate-level training with GEMS at the University of California at Berkeley. Black, an associate professor of education at KSC, teaches both graduate and undergraduate education courses. Previously, she taught in the U.S. and abroad at various elementary school levels. Bell, an adjunct faculty member at KSC, has taught at multiple grade levels in both public and private school settings. He also has worked for numerous camps and outdoor/environmental organizations.

There is a tremendous need for high quality teacher training in science and math, said Bell. After attending the GEMS workshop and using GEMS guides, teachers will discovery that the inquiry-based approach to science and math is motivating and effective for students, he added.

Lauded by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Expert Panel on Mathematics and Science Education, GEMS is a growing resource for elementary schools and their teachers. GEMS has published over 80 teacher’s guides and handbooks and maintains a national network of teacher-training sites and centers. The program is aligned with the N.H. Science and Math Frameworks and the standards of both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Participants in the KSC workshop will receive six GEMS guides with such titles as Crime Lab Chemistry, Stories in Stone, and Invisible Universe. Participants also will earn 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion of the workshop. An optional Keene State graduate credit will be available for an additional fee of $110.

KSC’s new GEMS site will begin to offer a regular slate of training workshops following the October launch. Courses will range in length from two hours to multi-day institutes depending upon content. Schools and districts are invited to contact KSC GEMS to discuss trainings at their own locations. CEUs and graduate credits will be available at these off-site events, as well. KSC GEMS is a working collaboration between Keene State’s Education and Science programs and the Continuing Education Office.

Questions regarding registration and cost should be directed to Erik Bell or Debbie Black at 603-358-2393 or A maximum of 60 educators will be allowed to participate in the October workshop. For further information on the GEMS network, visit

Related Stories

Contact Keene State College

229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435