*UPDATE: The Fort Detrick GEMS program located at Hood College has already sent out student acceptance letters. Please check your email boxes for the letter, as forms must be completed by April 26th in order to attend. Forms were sent out from usarmy.detrick.medcom-usamrmc.other.educational-outreach@mail.mil . Please check your junk/ spam and other email boxes.*

The Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program at Fort Detrick brings local students to the cutting-edge world of science for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC). The program is 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.

Applications for students will open 1 March, 2021.

The summer 2021 program will be modified to accommodate current health regulations due to COVID-19 and provide the safest environment for our students, teachers, Near Peer Mentors, and volunteers.

Hybrid classes will be offered to all students. Students will be required to pick up supplies on Monday mornings of their assigned week, complete activities virtually, and return on Friday mornings of the same week to complete a final challenge or competition in-person. Stipends will not be mailed, but instead handed out on the Fridays after completion of the program. See details below!

Courses for the 2021 summer will be 4-5 days, depending on the class selected and will take place at Hood College in beautiful Frederick, MD. Students accepted into the program will work with young aspiring scientists and engineers called Near-Peer Mentors, to complete various engineering challenges and hands on laboratory experiments, which 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 that 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.

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

*NOTE: There will be no stipends for students who participate in GEMS virtually in summer 2021. 

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 (ECS) 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.

Information for Students

The summer 2021 program will be modified to accommodate current health regulations due to COVID-19 and provide the safest environment for our students, teachers, Near Peer Mentors, and volunteers.

Hybrid classes will be offered to all students. Students will be required to pick up supplies on Monday mornings of their assigned week, complete activities virtually, and return Friday mornings to complete a final challenge or competition in-person. Stipends will not be mailed, but instead handed out on Fridays after completion of the program. See details below!

FOR THE SUMMER 2021 PROGRAM STUDENTS MUST HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, A WORKING COMPUTER OR TABLET, AND THE ABILITY TO TRAVEL TO HOOD COLLEGE IN FREDERICK, MD TO PARTICIPATE IN GEMS.

  • For Current Grades 4 & 5
    • Engineering & Computer Science Level 1 (formally Battlebots)
      • Offered the weeks of 12 JUL , 19 JUL, and 26 JUL
      • **Students and parents/guardians will be required to wear masks while on campus**
      • Students will pick up robotics kits at Hood College on Monday mornings of their selected week and return on Friday mornings to return their kit and complete their final challenge, battling another bot in the GEMS arena! Students will participate virtually Monday afternoon-Thursday.
      • Class Description: Students work to “train” and build their robot to complete a robot boot camp. Students’ robots will complete a ruck march, obstacle course, hand to hand combat, and even survive an airplane drop.
      • Details regarding drop off and return of supplies will be sent out after acceptance into the program.
  • For Current Grades 6-12
    • Earth and Environmental
      • **NEW CURRICULUM**
      • Offered the weeks of 12 JUL , 19 JUL, 26 JUL, 02 AUG, and 09 AUG
      • **Students and parents/guardians will be required to wear masks while on campus**
      • Students will pick up kits at Hood College on Monday mornings of their selected week and return on Friday mornings to return reusable parts of their kit and complete their final challenge, solar car races! Students will participate virtually Monday afternoon-Thursday.
      • ** Due to the nature of a solar car race, which is weather dependent, return date may be changed to Thursday afternoons to accommodate rainy days**
      • Class Description: Students complete labs and challenges to explore the world that they live in. Students will test water for fecal matter, dissect a squid and understand how water pollution effects them,  build a water filter that blocks out contaminates, analyze oxidation produced by a variety of plants, build solar cars, and be challenged to change the nutrient content in soil.
      • Details regarding drop off and return of supplies will be sent out after acceptance into the program.
  • For Current Grades 6-9
    • Engineering & Computer Science Level 2 (formally Learn Play Code)
      • Offered the weeks of 12JUL , 19 JUL, 26 JUL, 02 AUG, and 09 AUG
      • **Students and parents/guardians will be required to wear masks while on campus**
      • Students DO NOT NEED to pick up kits on Monday mornings if they are accepted into this class. However, they will need to return on Friday mornings to Hood College to complete a code breaker challenge. Students will participate virtually Monday afternoon-Thursday.
      • Class Description: Students study and use block based coding to animate various characters called sprites, make a digital music band as well as side scrolling, surfer and launcher games.
      • Details regarding return of supplies and Friday challenges, will be sent out after acceptance into the program.
  • For Current Grades 8-10
    • Engineering & Computer Science Level 3 (formally Robotics)
      • Offered the weeks of 02 AUG and 09 AUG
      • **Students and parents/guardians will be required to wear masks while on campus**
      • Students will pick up robotics kits at Hood College on Monday mornings of their selected week and return on Friday mornings to return their kit and complete their final challenge, an autonomous rescue mission! Students will participate virtually Monday afternoon-Thursday.
      • Class Description: Students again train a robot to autonomously complete various Army inspired tasks through coding, such as an obstacle course, rescue mission, and bomb removal.
      • Details regarding return of supplies and Friday challenges, will be sent out after acceptance into the program.
  • For Current Grades 10-12
    • Advanced
      • **THIS CLASS IS IN-PERSON AT HOOD COLLEGE, Monday – Friday. Students will be required to wear masks while on campus**
      • Offered the weeks of 12JUL, 19 JUL, 26 JUL, 02 AUG, and 09 AUG from 9:00am to 12:30pm!
      • If students cannot drive themselves they must be picked up by 12:30pm each day. This is not a full day class.
      • Class Description: Students dissect a fetal pig and learn suturing techniques as well as perform orthopedic surgery. Students also analyze their own DNA, via cheek cells, to see if they are carriers of the PTC gene (bitter taste).

Eligibility

You must register online by midnight on the day of the deadline. Deadline 1 April, 2021.

Students can apply for an one-week session for Summer 2021 in our life science or ECS classes.

If you have participated in a specific class previously you will NOT be re-selected for that class.

Spots are limited and applying to the program does not guarantee selection. Notification of selection will be sent out 21 April 2021.

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.

Benefits

  • 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, 2021.

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.

Benefits

  • 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 1 - April 1, 2021
Student Applications Open

April 21, 2021
Student Applicants are notified of preliminary acceptance and required forms are sent out. Forms must be returned in order to officially be given a spot in GEMS. Individuals that do not return their forms in the required time period will lose their spot

July 12-16, 2021
Week 1 of GEMS

July 19-23, 2021
Week 2 of GEMS

July 26-30, 2021
Week 3 of GEMS

August 2-6, 2021
Week 4 of GEMS

August 9-13, 2021
Week 5 of GEMS

*Note
Dates and classes 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!

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