GEMS at Fort Detrick brings local students into the cutting-edge world of U.S. Army Research and Development. Designed for current 4th through 12th grade students of all academic abilities in the 2020-2021 school calendar, GEMS promises a hands-on experience that will excite.

Courses are 4 days long and take place in beautiful Frederick, MD at Hood College. Students accepted into the program work with young aspiring scientists and engineers called Near-Peer Mentors to complete various engineering challenges and hands on laboratory experiments that are designed to further a students’ understanding of STEM concepts. While at GEMS students also learn about STEM careers that are available to them and pathways they can take to achieve their desired future aspirations. Students navigate a curriculum that local Fort Detrick education specialists and researchers developed just for your student.

GEMS is free to all applicants. Students will receive a $125 dollar stipend upon graduation to help offset the cost of transportation and food that is not provided by the program.  Stipends are not awarded to those who do not meet the definition of participation as explained by our Terms and Conditions.

Student applications will open Spring of 2021.

Want to be added to our GEMS notification list? Send us an email and we will notify you when applications for students open.

Programs Offered at Fort Detrick

USAMRDC at Fort Detrick offers courses that focus on both Life Science concepts as well as Engineering and Computer Science.

GEMS Engineering & Computer Science (ECE) Classes build on each other, allowing the students to progressively tackle more difficult content each summer.

GEMS Life Science and Environmental Classes highlight USAMRDC’s strengths and expertise in a multitude of areas. The content is hands-on and age appropriate to build real life STEM skills.

  • For Current Grades 4 & 5
  • For Current Grades 5-7
    Engineering & Computer Science Level 1
  • For Current Grades 6 & 7
    Crime Scene Investigators (C.S.I.)
  • For Current Grades 6-8
    Engineering & Computer Science Level 2 
  • For Current Grades 7-9
  • For Current Grades 8-10
    Engineering & Computer Science Level 3 & Level 4* 
  • For Current Grades 9-12
    Advanced & Engineering & Computer Science Level 5*

* Indicates that students must take a previous engineering and computer science class to qualify.

To learn more about GEMS at Fort Detrick and read the class descriptions, click here.


You must register online by midnight on the day of the deadline. Deadline TBD.

Other Opportunities at Fort Detrick

Near-Peer Mentor

Are you a STEM or Education Major interested in gaining leadership and hands on laboratory experience? Looking for a summer internship opportunity that allows you to work alongside Army Research Scientists and make amazing career connections while giving back to your community?

Becoming a Near-Peer Mentor for the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program is a great way to gain skills while inspiring the next generation to become scientists, engineers, doctors, and leaders.


  • Competitive Stipend
  • Hands on experience in life sciences, forensic science, computer science, and engineering
  • Local or virtual internships available
  • Expand your professional network within the Department of Defense
  • Mentor and Teach America’s Future
  • 4 or 8 week internships available
  • Work in teams with other college students from across the Nation

Additional Details

  • High School Juniors or Seniors may apply with leadership and hands-on biomedical or coding experience.
  • Near Peer Mentors will receive training and collaborate with the primary instructors. During the day camp, Near Peer Mentors will interact with middle and high school participants full time by assisting and/or leading experiments/challenges to include: laboratory experiments, coding (block and Python), engineering, and robotics.
  • Near Peers are selected to teach a specific class. To learn more about each class, click here.

To learn more about being a Near-Peer Mentor click here.

Apply TODAY! Applications are open till January 16th, 2020.

Assistant Near-Peer Mentor

U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) Fort Detrick Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Sciences (GEMS) Assistant Near-Peers serve as aides to the Resource Teacher and to the Near-Peer Mentors. They will function as a mentor, collaborator, and will gain valuable skills in presentation, lesson-planning, and laboratory techniques. The goal of the GEMS program is to broaden students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to inspire them to consider careers in these fields. The mentor will complete training prior to the start of the program. The training session will teach the mentor how to relate to students, present experiments, and practice the planned curriculum including laboratory prep. High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to apply for an Assistant Near-Peer Mentor internship position. This position is a four-week internship. Accepted participants may chose to receive meritorious service learning credit or an educational stipend.


  • Network with scientists and professionals from USAMRMC laboratories
  • Work on advanced-level science experiments and engineering projects
  • Mentor, teach, and influence America’s future
  • Enhance ability to pursue possible STEM career pathways
  • Selection into a very competitive STEM program

Responsibilities include:

  • Supervising students
  • Preparing laboratory materials
  • Learning protocols and procedures
  • Helping students foster positive attitudes toward STEM education
  • Maintaining ethical behavior at all times, acting as a role model and mentor for the GEMS student interns

Apply TODAY! Applications are open till January 16th, 2021.

Resource Teacher

USAMRDC has opportunities for Resource teachers for the summer during our Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program.

The GEMS program is an extracurricular science education program, which enables students to experience science in a real laboratory setting. 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.

Typically a Resource Teacher would be a licensed teacher within the public school/state system that currently teaches middle or high school students in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. However, other professions are encouraged to apply, specifically those with coding or laboratory experience. Ideally the candidate would have experience in a supervising role.

The Resource Teacher would be responsible for daily supervision of the Near-Peer Mentors (College aged individuals that teach the student interns), students, and the maintenance of the laboratory/classroom. The Resource Teacher would provide guidance on all experimental activities and would need to be present for the duration of the program as well as necessary time before and after the program. The Resource Teacher would also assist with curriculum as needed and is provided a stipend for the internship.

Apply TODAY! Applications are open till January 16th, 2021.

More Information

All programs are completely free of charge to students and families. A stipend of $125 will be awarded to those who participate to offset the cost of transportation.

Stipends are not awarded to those who do not meet the definition of participation as explained by our Terms and Conditions.

Important Dates

November 2020 - January 2021
Near-Peer Mentor Applications Open
Assistant Near- Peer Mentor Applications Open
Resource Teacher Applications Open

March-April 2021
Student Applications Open

May 2021
Student Applicants are notified of acceptance

July 5-9, 2021
Week 1 of GEMS

July 12-16, 2021
Week 2 of GEMS

July 19-23, 2021
Week 3 of GEMS

August 2-6, 2021
Week 4 of GEMS

August 9-13, 2021
Week 5 of GEMS

August 16-20, 2021
Week 6 of GEMS

Dates are subject to change based on current funding and public health recommendations

Interested in this program?

If you are interested in this program email us or call 301-619-7942. We’d love to hear from you!

Interested in this program?

If you are interested in this program email us or call 301-619-7942. We'd love to hear from you!