|What is GEMS?
GEMS is a growing national resource for excellence in activity-based science and mathematics. Developed at the University of California at Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) and tested in thousands of classrooms nationwide, over 70 GEMS Teacher's Guides and Handbooks offer a wide spectrum of learning opportunities from preschool and kindergarten through eighth grade. Since initiation of GEMS in 1984, over 600,000 teachers and more than ten million students have experienced GEMS activities. Overwhelming educational evidence that students learn best by doing is the basis for the GEMS inquiry-based, guided-discovery approach. Activities engage students in direct experience and experimentation before introducing explanations of principles and concepts. Utilizing easily obtained materials, GEMS activities allow teachers without special background in science or math to successfully present hands-on, minds-on experiences.
GEMS units can serve as a strong support to the National Science Education Standards, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, mathematics curriculum standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, state curriculum frameworks, and school district curriculum guidelines. GEMS guides can be integrated into the curriculum or stand on their own as a stimulating way to involve students in science and mathematics.
To support the growing number of teachers and schools using GEMS materials, GEMS maintains a national and international network of educators that offer a wide range of implementation and support services. One component of the GEMS Network is approximately 2,000 GEMS Associates who have taken part in intensive institutes presented by the LHS GEMS staff. Another component of the network is GEMS centers and sites that are closely affiliated with they LHS GEMS program. Locations of current GEMS centers and sites are shown on the map that appears below. Note that there is one GEMS network site in Mississippi. It is operated by the Center for Science and Environment Education (CSEE) at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
About the Mississippi Delta GEMS Network Site
The Mississippi Delta GEMS Network Site was launched in June, 2001 to provide GEMS professional development opportunities for teachers in the Delta area. Our network site also provides a GEMS kit lending and refurbishment program through the CSEE. This program allows teachers who have been trained in the use of specitic GEMS guides to obtain classroom materials and resources for implementing those GEMS guides. Information about requirements for the CSEE GEMS kit lending program can be viewed HERE.