The USAARL GEMS program engages rising 4th through 11th grade students in hands‐on, inquiry‐based experiments and nurtures students’ interest in STEM career fields. USAARL’s GEMS program aims to reach students who are from southeast Alabama and who are historically underrepresented in STEM.

*NOTE: There will be no stipends for students who participate in GEMS virtually in summer 2024.


Since 2011, the USAARL GEMS program has provided STEM education to over 1,000 students from Fort Rucker, Enterprise, Ozark, Daleville, Dothan, and other local communities. Each year the program has grown in both the modules offered and the number of students who complete the program.


Planetary– Explore basic concepts and characteristics of the Earth and Space.

Neuroscience– Investigate the anatomy, function and development of the central system and the brain.

Biochemistry– Explore chemical processes and reactions occurring in living things.

Agriscience– Explore agriculture and develop an understanding of human relations, communication, the importance of agriculture to the economy.

Important Dates

October 18, 2023
Near-Peer Mentor and Teacher Applications open

January 15, 2024
Student Applications open

January 15, 2024
Near-Peer Mentor and Teacher Applications close

March 14, 2024
Student Application closes

March 15, 2024
Student Waitlist opens

April 15, 2024
Student Waitlist closes

June 10-14, 2024
GEMS Session 1

June 17-21, 2024*
GEMS Session 2 *Federal holiday on Wednesday, June 19, 2024

June 24-28, 2024
GEMS Session 3

July 8-12, 2024
GEMS Session 4

More Information

Session 1, 3 and 4 are Monday to Friday from 8:30am – 3:30pm. 

Session 2 is Tuesday to Friday from 8:30am to 3:30pm. 

Student recommendation and application form coming soon.

Information for Resource Teachers and Near-Peer Mentors

Take your teaching out of the classroom and into the lab!

GEMS is looking for RESOURCE TEACHERS and NEAR-PEER MENTORS. Spend your summer introducing the excitement of STEM to a new generation of innovators.

GEMS and Educators

GEMS relies on local teachers, high school 12th graders, and college students to work alongside U.S. Army research scientists to provide inquiry-based, hands-on lab experiments and activities. The goal is to interest young people in STEM careers early enough that they have the time to prepare for their academic futures.

GEMS Resource Teachers and Near-Peer Mentors receive a stipend based on experience and education level.


  • If you have a teaching certificate or are pursuing a degree in a STEM subject,
  • If you want to introduce students to hands-on experiments and learning,
  • And if you have the desire to guide students typically underrepresented in STEM, this program is for you!

Apply Now

Near-Peer Mentor Application.

Near-Peer Mentor Recommendation form can be found here.

Important Dates

Near-Peer Mentor Application

February 28, 2023
Near-Peer Mentor Application closes

May 30 - July 17, 2023
GEMS Program for Resource Teachers and Near-Peer Mentors

Interested in This Program?

If you are interested in this program email us or call 1-334-255-6907 or 1-334-255-6920. We'd love to hear from you!