Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education

- A South Dakota Board of Regents Center of Excellence

What is CAMSE?

The Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education (CAMSE) at Black Hills State University is a statewide Center of Excellence funded through the South Dakota Board of Regents. Established in 1997, the mission of CAMSE is to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and science at all levels, K-16. Areas of emphasis include:

CAMSE enhances teaching and learning by promoting standards-based best practices in mathematics and science for South Dakota schools. CAMSE also serves as a trusted source of easily accessible, high-quality resources.

Under the leadership of outstanding teacher educators, teachers can receive university credit while learning how, through professional development opportunities, to raise student achievement.



The mission of the Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education (CAMSE) is to promote meaningful and effective teaching and learning of science and mathematics at all levels. Towards this end we are focusing on providing the best possible preparation for future teachers; professional development in math and science content and in innovative teaching strategies for practicing teachers; providing and evaluating classroom science and math materials for educators; and performing research and evaluation in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. Formed by BHSU, in cooperation with the South Dakota Board of Regents, CAMSE is developing a suite of projects and activities in the areas mentioned above.

Preparing future teachers

The Center is working to promote enhanced opportunities in learning about science and math teaching for both prospective teachers and inservice teachers. We believe that current curricula for teacher education can be significantly strengthened in mathematics and science, and we are working towards this end. Through the creation of the Distinguished Scholars program for excellent students at BHSU we hope to create opportunities to explore math and science in a new light.

Teacher professional development

CAMSE is heavily involved in providing quality professional development for teachers in grades K-12. Teachers at all levels have limited background in math and science, and their students benefit when teachers understand more science and math. Teachers also need to learn more effective ways of teaching math and science. CAMSE is providing professional development in science and math content and in methods of teaching that help students develop deeper understandings of science and math topics. Professional development activities of the Center touch diverse geographical areas, from country schools to reservations to city centers.

Repository for high quality math and science materials

Effective science and math teaching requires materials that many schools are currently unable to provide, or that they need help in selecting. CAMSE provides a repository of research-based science and math education materials and kits, including books, equipment, software, and teachers' guides. There also are a large number of FOSS, Insights, STC, Trailblazers and Connected Math materials. These are available for seminars, loans to schools to use on trial basis, and as backups for area schools.

CAMSE has been selected to be a K-12 Regional Curriculum Dissemination Center by the Educational Development Center (EDC). CAMSE is offering seminars and support to teams from school districts that are considering using NSF-supported science education course materials or comprehensive math materials developed in response to the NCTM Standards.

CAMSE also serves as a NASA Educator Resource Center and makes NASA materials available to teachers. The ERC complements other materials at CAMSE by providing interesting and colorful introductions to the wide range of NASA activities and aerospace applications.

Research on teaching and learning mathematics and science

There is much to be learned about how students learn math and science, how teachers learn and become committed to more effective teaching strategies, and how structure, events and activities in classrooms make a difference (or not) in learning processes. The Center is embarking on research projects hopefully to shed light on some of these issues.


The Center is, in part, significant because it represents the collaborative effort and vision of many individuals. Though primary funding for the CAMSE comes via the South Dakota Board of Regents, its success is dependent on the involvement and support of education stakeholders across the state.

Contributors provide ongoing, significant support to the products or functions of CAMSE.

* Local university professors partner with CAMSE by providing support for cohorts of teachers to improve standards-based teaching in mathematics and science.

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