GEMS at U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command – U.S. Army Research Laboratory (DEVCOM ARL West) (Playa Vista, CA) is a STEM enrichment program for students. This year, DEVCOM ARL West will be hosting the program in person at ARL West & DoD STARBASE! GEMS is a FREE one-week session for middle and high school students. This year we have three offerings:

  • GEMS I: rising 6th-8th graders;
  • GEMS II: rising 9th and 10th graders;
  • GEMS III: rising 10th – 12th graders.

No prior experience required! If you’re interested in learning more about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with activities that go beyond the normal classroom offerings, then this program is for you!

GEMS 2019 Group Picture


Started in April 2016 as part of the DEVCOM ARL Open Campus Initiative, DEVCOM ARL West is the Southern California hub of the US U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Our research focuses on Human and Information Interaction and GEMS students will be exposed to topics ranging from human-agent interaction, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality systems for training and soldier skills management. DEVCOM ARL West is co-located with the U.S. Army’s Institute for Creative Technologies, which is a University Affiliated Research Center at the University of Southern California (USC). Students will take-away concrete skills of how to do collaborative and multi-disciplinary work.


You'll Get to

  • Learn how virtual reality, human factors, emerging technology, engineering, and mathematics have applications in the real world
  • Build working prototypes of digital circuits and gain confidence in your ability to participate in STEM activities
  • Collaborate, solve problems as a member of a team, and practice your presentation skills

Important Dates

February 1, 2023
Application Opens

May 15, 2023
Application Closes

July 17-21, 2023

July 24-28, 2023

July 31 - August 4, 2023

About Educators

Teachers interested in participating in this program can apply to become a resource teacher. You will be asked to work collaboratively with DEVCOM ARL scientists and engineers to provide instruction, supervise, and engage students in age and grade-level appropriate, hands‐on lab experiments and activities, based on current DEVCOM ARL West research initiatives. B.A required, experience in STEM or STEM education preferred.

About Near Peer Mentors

High-school- and college-aged students interested in participating in this program can apply to become Near­ Peer Mentors. GEMS relies on Near-Peer Mentors (NPMs) to work alongside teachers and U.S. Army research scientists to provide inquiry-based, hands-on lab experiments and activities. GEMS NPMs will also be asked to help students access online resources that will be used by the students throughout GEMS, as well as helping to troubleshoot connectivity and other technological issues. GEMS NPMs receive a stipend based on experience and education level. Students must be at least 16 years old to apply.

Important Dates

January 31, 2023
Resource Teacher and Near-Peer Mentor applications close

February 1-14, 2023
Interviews for Research Teachers and Near-Peer Mentors

February 28, 2023
Resource Teacher and Near-Pear Mentor selections

April 15, 2023
Participation paperwork due

July 10-14, 2023
GEMS Training Session

July 17-21, 2023

July 24-28, 2021

July 31-August 4, 2023

Interested in This Program?

If you are interested in this program email us or call 310-448-5394. We'd love to hear from you!