More About GEMS
The primary goals of GEMS were:
- To improve the communication skills of the Fellows by having them assume an active role as content resources with middle school teachers in the classroom and as STEM role models with middle school students. From these GEMS experiences, Fellows will emerge as knowledgeable ambassadors in their professions for community support of K–12 science and mathematics education.
- To increase the content knowledge and best–teaching practices of elementary teachers by providing professional development tailored to support new JCPS Content Standards and inquiry–based curricular materials.
- To enrich the learning of STEM concepts and skills by middle school students and to provide opportunities for novice STEM learners to experience the excitement of exploration and discovery in mathematics and science.
- To further strengthen the ties of University of Louisville STEM faculty with K–12 educators and to broaden the partnerships that inform those faculty of the needs of pre–service and in–service teachers.
GEMS Leadership and Structure
GEMS Project Directors:
- Dr. Christine Rich,
Department of Chemistry, PI
- Dr. Wiley Williams,
Department of Mathematics, Co-PI
- Amy Herman,
Mathematics Specialist, JCPS, Co-PI
- Lee Ann Nickerson,
Science Specialist, JCPS, Co-PI
These UofL faculty supported GEMS Fellows and teachers in their content and pedagogy:
During 2007-2011 each GEMS team consisted of a Graduate Fellow, either a sixth grade mathematics or seventh grade science teacher, a UofL Content faculty member, and an education professional. Teams participated in a seven–day summer workshop developing a common understanding of inquiry–based learning and best teaching practices using JCPS curricula. Prior to this, Fellows spent three days learning about state and national STEM standards and problems, discussing strategies for engaging middle grades students, and beginning to develop communication skills for interacting positively in a middle grades classroom.
During the school year Teams also attended GEMS seminars about every other Monday night to learn additional content and pedagogical methods, to interact with mentors in Team meetings, and to perform occasional evaluation activities. Fellows also completed an electronic journal weekly.