Silver Spring, MD


WRAIR GEMS invites middle and high school students to work alongside college-age mentors, called near-peer mentors, in a professional laboratory environment. During the one-week sessions free of charge, our students participate in a hands-on learning experience and gain exposure to the diversity of STEM fields and careers. Para español, haz clic aquí.

Students can apply for a one-week session during the summer in our biomedical or engineering programs at one of the following levels (Fall 2018 Grade Levels):

  • Beginning (7th-8th grade)
  • Intermediate (9th-10th grade)
  • Advanced (11th-12th grade)

Upon completion of the program, students earn a $100 stipend for their participation.

 Program Goals

The mission of GEMS is:

  • To increase interest, engagement, and performance in STEM for student participants.
  • To support STEM undergraduates and recent graduates in a research and education internship.
  • To bring experiential learning and mentorship to middle and high school students from underrepresented populations in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.


The Near-Peer Mentors

The GEMS near-peer mentor is typically a college-age mentor currently pursuing a career in a STEM field. Closer in age to our students, near-peer mentors share their scientific interests with the students, guide students in a hands-on exploration of science concepts, and develop meaningful connections throughout the week. In addition to a strong understanding of their science, near-peer mentors offer guidance in choosing high school courses, applying to college and scholarships, and adjusting to college-level academics.


The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the oldest and most mission diverse biomedical research laboratory in the Department of Defense. WRAIR provides unique research capabilities and innovative solutions to a range of force health and readiness challenges currently facing U.S. Service Members, along with threats anticipated during future operations. With comprehensive research units in Africa, Asia, and the Caucasus region, WRAIR is comprised of two Centers of Excellence, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience.


GEMS Students Apply Here! (Applications open 15 January, Deadline is 30 April, 2018)


Near-Peer Mentors and Resource Teachers Apply Here! (Deadline is 15 February, 2018)


*Completing the application and consents (including Terms and Conditions) DOES NOT guarantee acceptance. Selected students will be individually notified via email beginning 5 May 2018.


2018 GEMS Sessions at WRAIR and NHS

Biomedical at WRAIR, Silver Spring, MD GEMS Level
11-15 June Intermediate and Advanced
18-22 June Advanced
25-28 June Beginning
9-13 July Intermediate
16-20 July Intermediate and Advanced
23-27 July Beginning
30 July – 3 August Intermediate and Advanced
6-10 August Advanced
13-17 August Beginning and Intermediate
Biomedical at Northwestern High School, Hyattsville, MD GEMS Level
25-28 June (No Class on 26 June) Beginning
9-12 July Beginning and Intermediate
16-19 July Beginning and Intermediate
23-26 July Beginning and Intermediate
30 July – 2 August Beginning and Intermediate
6-9 August Beginning and Intermediate
13-16 August Beginning and Intermediate
Engineering at Northwestern high School, Hyattsville, MD GEMS Level
25-28 June (No Class on 26 June) Beginning
9-12 July Intermediate
16-19 July Advanced
23-26 July Beginning
30 July – 2 August Intermediate and Advanced
6-9 August Intermediate and Advanced
13-16 August Beginning and Intermediate



Please direct further questions to: