Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

gems programGains in the Education of Mathematics and Science [GEMS] is an Army-sponsored, summer STEM enrichment program for middle and high school students that takes place in participating Army Research Laboratories. GEMS is driven by the overarching mission: to interest young people, who might not otherwise give serious thought to becoming scientists or engineers, in STEM careers early enough in their education so that they have the time to attain the appropriate academic training. The program is based on a multi-disciplinary educational curriculum, and is focused on age and grade-appropriate hands-on activities, in areas such as science, engineering, mathematics, computational sciences, computational biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry and biology.

The GEMS experience was a truly phenomenal experience that helped me decide to pursue a career as, hopefully, an Army research engineer.


The goals of the GEMS program are:

  • Nurture interest and excitement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for middle and high school participants.
  • Nurture interest and excitement in STEM for mentor and teacher participants.
  • Implement STEM enrichment experiences that are hands-on, inquiry-based educational modules that enhance in-school learning.
  • Increase participant knowledge in targeted STEM areas and laboratory skills.
  • Outreach to participants inclusive of youth from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in STEM.
  • Encourage participants to pursue secondary and post-secondary education in STEM.
  • Educate participants about careers in STEM fields with a particular focus on STEM careers in Army laboratories.
  • Provide information to participants about opportunities for STEM enrichment through advancing levels of GEMS as well as other AEOP initiatives.

All students who are selected and successfully participate in GEMS qualify for an educational stipend ($100 per week) to offset any cost to the student or family to participate (travel and food). Participants must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent legal residents.

CONTACT US

 

NEAR-PEER MENTORS & RESOURCE TEACHERS

Many GEMS locations utilize near-peer mentors (college students in STEM fields) and resource teachers (licensed K-12 teachers) to provide instruction and mentorship to program participants.

Near-Peer Mentors (NPM) help to develop, explain, and execute each teaching module in the GEMS Program. NPM are college students from all STEM fields and education-related majors. These mentors are closer in age than the traditional teacher and create a more relaxed atmosphere for learning. The responsibilities of a NPM are to be role models to the students, promote interest in high-level science and math classes, and act as expert resources concerning college life and career pathways. NPMs are selected for their technical experience, attitude and teaching skills. Their inclusion in the GEMS program is integral to enhancing each and every GEMS participant’s learning and achievement.

Current K-12 Teachers may apply for a GEMS Resource Teacher (RT) internship. Typically RTs are licensed teachers within the public school/state system that currently teaches middle or high school students in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. RTs are responsible for daily supervision of the NPMs, students and the maintenance of the lab. They provide guidance on all experimental activities and need to be present for the duration of the program.

Near-peer mentor and resource teacher stipends are determined based on prior research and work experience. Near-peer mentors and resource teachers must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent legal residents.

GENERAL PROGRAM MILESTONES

Jan-Feb: Student application opens (varies by site)
Mar-Apr: Applications due
Apr-May: Applications reviewed & participants selected
May: Selected students notified
Jun-Aug: Students participate in GEMS program (length and dates vary by location)

 

PROGRAM LOCATIONS

ALABAMAILLINOIS | MARYLAND | MASSACHUSETTS | MISSISSIPPI | NEW MEXICO | TEXAS

ALABAMA

U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory – Fort Rucker, AL

The GEMS program at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) – Fort Rucker, AL is open to the public for rising 4th-11th grade students (For example, a current 3rd grade student is considered a rising 4th grader for the summer GEMS program). All students must be United States Citizens. Students who complete each day of the program earn an educational stipend.

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U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center – Huntsville, AL

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), a major component laboratory of the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), is the Army’s focal point for research, development, engineering technology and services for aviation and missile platforms. In addition to conducting research and advanced development, AMRDEC provides one-stop life cycle engineering and scientific support for aviation systems, missile systems, and unmanned aerial platforms. AMRDEC has an extensive history of providing world-class aviation and missile systems to the Warfighter. At present, more than 3,000 employees work at the AMRDEC, of which approximately 2,600 are scientists and engineers. AMRDEC conducts operations in approximately 1.7 million square feet of facilities. AMRDEC provides a wide array of technologies, hardware and software applications, and products and services that run the gamut from game-changing technologies to detect and destroy threats, enhance performance, lethality, survivability and reliability of aviation and missile systems, along with programs to miniaturize missile and aircraft components, provide modeling and simulation applications for these technologies and systems, and the associated training applications.


ILLINOIS

U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center – Construction Engineering
Research Laboratory – Champaign, IL

The U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL), Champaign, IL. ERDC-CERL directs its research efforts toward increasing the Army’s ability to more efficiently design, construct, operate and maintain its installations and contingency bases and to ensure environmental quality and safety at a reduced life-cycle cost. ERDC-CERL researchers work in collaboration with other ERDC labs and with partners in government, industry and academia. This helps CERL develop technologies for the Army’s current and future force while also benefitting the private and public sectors where no similar applications and capabilities exist. While ERDC-CERL program centers on sustainable military installation infrastructure and environment, additional focus areas include enhancing socio-cultural understanding in theater operations and improving civil works facilities and infrastructure.


MARYLAND

Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

The Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) program is a joint/collaborative effort between many different Research & Development and Test & Evaluation organizations on APG, including the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the Communications- Electronics Research, Development & Engineering Center (CERDEC), Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA)  and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (MRICD) in addition to other on-post collaborators along with collaborators from off-post such as Harford Community College and the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society.

GEMS I Overview: Students accepted into GEMS I Program will experience a wide range of laboratory practices in the use of biomedical instrumentation and will conduct analysis of biological data. Students will work with scientists and near-peers to cover sessions in topics such as: chromatography, DNA analysis, toxicology, genetics, neuro-anatomy, and microscopy.

GEMS II Overview: Students in the 7th – 10th grade GEMS II Program will experience a wide range of laboratory experiences from synthesis to fabrication to instrumentation/analysis. The 2015 GEMS program has sessions on chemistry, environmental, physics, engineering, computer science, robotics, non-destructive evaluation along with other sessions.

GEMS III Overview: Students in the 10th-12th grade GEMS III sessions will be able to experience a more direct learning into very specific fields. These week long courses usually consist of Computer Science, Power and Energy, and Advanced Robotics and Programming.

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U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command – Frederick, MD

The GEMS program at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) – Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD is open to the public for rising 5th-12th graders and recent high school graduates (NOTE: a current 4th grade student is considered a rising 5th grader for the summer program, a current 12 grade student is considered a recent high school graduate for the summer program, etc.). All participants must be United States Citizens. All participants are eligible for an educational stipend. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC) is the Army’s medical materiel developer, with responsibility for medical research, development, and acquisition and medical logistics management. The USAMRMC’s expertise in these critical areas helps establish and maintain the capabilities the Army needs to fight and win on the battlefield. This year’s program at USAMRMC Fort Detrick is a joint effort between many different Research & Development and operational organizations on Fort Detrick, including the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research (USACEHR), Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIDRP), the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), and various operational organizations on Fort Detrick.

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U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command – Walter Reed Army Institute of Research – Silver Spring, MD

The GEMS program at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) – Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) – Silver Spring, MD is open to the public for rising 7th-12th graders. Programs are hosted at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels with Biomedical (located at WRAIR) and Engineering (located at Northwestern High School) themes. WRAIR GEMS accepts students from out-of-town but does not provide any type of residence assistance. The goal is to mentor a diverse population. All participants are eligible to receive a certificate of completion and an educational stipend.

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US Army Research Laboratory – Adelphi, MD

The GEMS Program at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, MD, provides middle school and high school students with the opportunity to explore new concepts and activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. Participants interact with scientists, engineers, and researchers to examine thought-provoking topics.

GEMS I Overview:   Students accepted into the GEMS I Program will investigate a variety of STEM activities during a one week session through the use of electronics, photovoltaics, robotics, fuel cell energy, atmospheric science, and 3D printing technology during informative and engaging project demonstrations, tours, and hands-on laboratory experiments.

GEMS II Overview: Students accepted into the GEMS II Program will investigate STEM topics during a two week session. Students will utilize the Engineering Design Method to formulate group projects and demonstrate acquired research skills. Project formulation highlights computational sciences.


MASSACHUSETTS

U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine – Natick, MA

The GEMS program at the U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) – Natick, MA is open to the public for rising 5th-9th grade youth. All participants must be United States Citizens or U.S. Permanent Legal Residents. All participants are eligible for an educational stipend. USARIEM offers GEMS programs at three successive levels: GEMS I, GEMS II and GEMS III.


MISSISSIPPI

U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center – Vicksburg, MS

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS helps solve the nation’s most challenging problems in civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources, and environmental sciences for the Army, Department of Defense, civilian agencies, and our Nation’s public good. ERDC’s vision is to become the world’s premier public engineering and environmental sciences research and development organization.

As one of the most diverse engineering and scientific research organizations in the world, ERDC conducts research and development in support of the Soldier, military installations, and the Corps of Engineers’ civil works mission, as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industries through innovative work agreements. ERDC has a staff of approximately 2,500 federal employees and contractors, and an annual research program exceeding $1.6 billion in FY11.


NEW MEXICO

White Sands Missile Range – White Sands Missile Range, NM

The GEMS programs at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico are a joint/collaborative effort between the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the U.S. Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC).  ARL’s mission is to ensure that U.S. military personnel and equipment survive and function effectively in hostile circumstances. ATEC’s mission is to provide the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Defense, and other customers with high-quality resources and services for experimentation, test, research, assessment, development, and training in support of the Nation at war.  ARL & ATEC both employ many engineers, scientists, physicists and military personnel to accomplish their missions.  These same employees coordinate and conduct our GEMS programs.

GEMS I is an ATEC Middle School program consisting of a wide variety of hands-on modules, demonstrations, experiments and tours.  Students selected for the GEMS I program will experience a week of exciting STEM-related activities on one of the largest, most dynamic military test ranges in the world; this is a rare opportunity for civilians.

GEMS II is an ARL High School program consisting of a series of engaging, hands-on modules.  Students selected for the GEMS II program will experience a week of interesting STEM-related activities (robotics, rocketry, computer science, lasers, and more) inside a world class military laboratory.   ARL’s laboratories and facilities are not open to the public; this is an excellent opportunity for high school students, as they prepare to make important career and college major plans/decisions.


TEXAS

U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research – San Antonio, TX

The GEMS program at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) – San Antonio, TX is open to the public for rising 6th through 8th graders (Entry Level GEMS) and rising 9th and 10th graders (Advanced GEMS). All participants must be United States Citizens. All participants are eligible for an educational stipend.

 

 

CONTACT

For general program inquiries, contact:
Army GEMS Help-Desk
Email: aeopgems@nsta.org
Phone: 1-800-807-9852