The Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) and Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC) is designed for rising 5th to 9th graders of all academic abilities.

The program offers three different curricula: GEMS I (rising 5th-7th graders), GEMS II (rising 6th-8th graders), and GEMS III (rising 7th-9th graders). The GEMS program is open to the public and aims to reach students who are historically underrepresented in STEM. In GEMS, students will learn about neuroscience, biochemistry, biomechanics, and physics. Sample classes include making bottle rockets and understanding physics, conducting fun physical training to understand biomechanics, and isolating DNA.

GEMS I: Rising Grades 5-7

GEMS II: Rising Grades 6-8

GEMS III: Rising Grades 7-9

Eligibility for Students

All participants must be United States or U.S. Permanent Legal Residents. All participants are eligible for an educational stipend. Priority will go to children from groups who are historically underrepresented in STEM.

Students must register online by midnight on the day of the deadline. The student application deadline is April 1, 2024.

Students can only participate in one week-long session for summer 2024.

Students are NOT eligible to participate in a course more than once and will not be re-selected for a class.

Spots are limited and applying to the program does not guarantee selection. Notification of selection will be sent out no later than May 6, 2024.

Information for Students

Courses for Summer 2024 will be Monday through Thursday, and will take place at Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, MA. Students accepted into the program will work with young aspiring scientists and engineers called Near-Peer Mentors to complete various science and 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 education specialists and researchers especially developed for student learning and enjoyment.

GEMS is free to all applicants. Students will receive a $125 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.

Information for Volunteers

Are you a local college or high school student with an interest in STEM and education and looking to gain leadership and hands on laboratory experience?

Looking for a summer internship opportunity that allows you to work alongside U.S. Army Research Scientists and make amazing career connections while giving back to your community?

Becoming a Near-Peer Mentor for the 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
  • 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

Responsibilities include:

  • Supervising students at all times
  • Preparing laboratory materials
  • Learning and implementing 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

Additional Details

  • High School Juniors, Seniors, and college students with leadership and hands-on biomedical or coding experience may apply.
  • Near-Peer Mentors will receive training and collaborate with the primary instructors.
  • During the student sessions, 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, engineering, and robotics.

Apply here to be a Near-Peer Mentor. Applications are open until April 1, 2024.

Information for Teachers 

A Teacher is a licensed teacher within the public school/state system with a Master’s degree, preferably in a STEM field. Ideally, the candidate would have experience in a supervisory role.

The Teachers’ main responsibility is to remain an open channel for Near Peer Mentors to utilize as a teaching resource for content building and skill building. Teachers also ensure that safety and liability guidelines are always practiced by Near Peer Mentors and students. Additionally, they will take the lead in emergency situations over Near Peer Mentors and students when emergencies arise and will work closely with the GEMS staff to ensure that protocols are being followed. Teachers may also assist with curriculum revisions as needed and are provided a stipend for the internship.

Apply here to be a Teacher. Applications are open until April 1, 2024.

Important Dates

December 4, 2023
Applications Open for Students and Near-Peer Mentors

April 1, 2024
Student and Near-Peer Mentor Registration Closes

July 8-11, 2024
GEMS I - Week 1

July 15-18, 2024
GEMS I - Week 2

July 22 - 25, 2024
GEMS II - Week 1

July 29 - August 1, 2024
GEMS II - Week 2

August 5 - 8, 2024
GEMS III - Week 1

August 12 - 15, 2024
GEMS III, Week 2

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

Our Partners

GEMS Natick is provided in cooperation with the USARIEM, United States U.S. Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in collaboration with:


Interested in This Program?

If you are interested in this program email us. We'd love to hear from you!