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 hosting the problem virtually, to ensure a safe experience for all participants! This year we have two offerings:

GEMS is a FREE one-week session for middle and high school students (GEMS I: rising 6th-8th graders; GEMS II: rising 9th and 10th 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!

This year, we’ll be providing a special GEMS III experience, targeted for rising 10th-12th graders, in partnership with DoD STARBASE. You can find more information about them here: For this program, Algebra 1 will be an important pre-requisite.

*NOTE: There will be no stipends for students who participate in GEMS virtually in summer 2022. 

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, 2022
Application Opens

May 15, 2022
Application Closes

July 18-22, 2022

July 25-30, 2022

August 1-5, 2022

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, 2022
Resource Teacher and Near-Peer Mentor applications close

February 1-14, 2022
Interviews for Research Teachers and Near-Peer Mentors

February 28, 2022
Resource Teacher and Near-Pear Mentor selections

April 15, 2022
Participation paperwork due

July 11-15, 2022
GEMS Training Session

July 18-22, 2022

July 25-29, 2021

August 1-5, 2022

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!