...opening pathways to academic enrichment and enabling possibilities for the future.

Keystone Kids

Grade 5

KEYSTONE KIDS will capture the imagination of fifth graders in a day of high energy, hands-on activities not experienced in the usual school day. Students will realize their undiscovered strengths and abilities during a day when they become mathematicians, scientists, writers or engineers. Two to three students from different school districts team up and rotate through two, three or four different lessons unified by a common theme. Class sizes range from 12 to 16 students and are taught by subject matter experts and experienced mentors. All activities are aligned with Common Core and New York State Science Learning Standards. In the future watch for additional workshops centered on engineering and art.Workshop topics are chosen by the mentors and are grade appropriate. Some Keystone Kids classes are listed below.


Chess Alive

Mathematics for Shoppers

Quick Sticks

Making Cents of Dollars


Prove It!

It’s a Roly Poly!

pH at Home

Wee Beasties




Historical Fiction





Lego WeDo Robotics

Reverse Engineering

Keystone Kids Write, North Colonie Schools

Storytelling in Literature

This full day workshop fills the Carey Institute campus with young gifted and talented writers from North Colonie schools as students rotate through a series of classes taught by different local authors. The day will have a simple theme agreed upon by the school district teachers and Keystone mentors. Themes in the past have included Fantasy in Fiction, Poetry, Historical Fiction and others. Students will be exposed to several view points of writing as each mentor has his/her own writing style. Additionally, as students move through the day, they will learn the steps leading to writing believable literature and will be awakened to their own inner writing talents. Some topics will require preliminary research and or writing. At the end of the day, students will critique, revise and share their work.

Schools interested in  bringing large numbers of their own students to enjoy a full day of writing should contact Keystone facilitator Alison Miller at nextgenimmersions@gmail.com.


“I learned that making mistakes is just as important as not making mistakes.”

5th Grade Student
Abram Lansing Elem. School

“I loved watching today’s lessons.  Modeling the lessons was very helpful and valuable for me as a teacher…the lessons were engaging in all subject areas (math, science, ELA).”

Greenville Elem. School

“This conference does a phenomenal job preparing students for post-high school life.  Students are learning and practicing public speaking, critical thinking skills and taking a stance on key historical issues.  Their experience is unlike any other they will have in this realm.”

Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School

“(Model United Nations) taught me more about how to formulate questions better and how to form better arguments.”

11th Grade Student
Greenville High School

“(In future writing) I will think about my story and really describe the characters I write about.”

5th Grade Student
Lake Ave. Elementary School

“Thank you Keystone for the awesome science day!”

5th Grade Student
Abram Lansing Elem. School

“I definitely felt more comfortable because I was in an environment where, if I made a mistake, it was not a big deal.  The teachers corrected my French and moved on. Through the teachers giving us mini-lessons mixed in with the activities, I was able to pick up on the grammar tricks that I had been unaware of.”

11th Grade student
Bolton Central School

“The exposure to native speakers (is most valuable).  I’m a gringa.  This gives students an idea of the mental energy needed to comprehend.  My own Spanish got some practice too.”  

Spanish Teacher
Schodack Central School

“The opportunity to speak French all day and to experience French speakers who come from la francophonic is invaluable.  Just wonderful.  This particular workshop is unique in that it introduces students to accents and cultures through la francophone in addition to France and Canada.”

French Teacher
Bolton Central School

“Some students spoke French very well and it was fun to be able to chat with them and learn interesting things about them.”

10th Grade student
Bolton Central School

“I learned that you really need to be specific with your details and that it will help you write more interesting stories.”

5th Grade Student
Forts Ferry Elem. School

I liked learning about the Underground Railroad. It was like you were there when it was happening.

7th Grade Student

I learned a lot about history and got to work with people I didn’t know.

7th Grade Student

I learned how to measure the height of things with a protractor and meter stick.

7th Grade Student

We heard stories from reporters and film makers who put themselves into situations dealing with current events.

9th Grade Student
Columbia High School

It has let me identify fake news an understand stories based on who they benefit.

9th Grade Student
Columbia High School

It was a fun way to write. It was risk free so it took the stress off. As a result, kids could enjoy the writing process rather than have it feel like work.