The Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) offers middle and high school students an exciting platform to engage in hands-on STEM activities that are designed to stimulate inquiry-based thinking, scientific skills, and interest in STEM careers. Rising 7th – 12th graders will have the opportunity to explore STEM in a sophisticated laboratory setting and learn about STEM careers under the guidance of college-level mentors called Near-Peer Mentors (NPMs).


Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the oldest and most mission diverse biomedical research laboratory in the Department of Defense.  WRAIR’s mission: Discover, design, develop and deliver globally impactful solutions for military relevant infectious diseases, brain health and performance optimization through innovative research. Some of the sophisticated research conducted at WRAIR is adapted and incorporated in the coursework for GEMS students.

Information for Students

Student application open on February 22, 2023.

GEMS is free to all applicants.


In-person GEMS will be offered at

  • WRAIR, Silver Spring (Biomedical and Engineering)
  • Bowie State University (BSU) (Biomedical and Engineering)
  • Richard Wright Public Charter School (RWPCS) (Engineering)
  • Morgan State University, Baltimore (Biomedical)

GEMS levels (Fall 2023 grade levels)
Beginning (7th and 8th grades)
Intermediate (9th and 10th grades)
Advanced (11th and 12th grades)

Students in the in-person program will receive a stipend of $125 upon completion of the program. Stipend is given to offset cost of transportation.

Students in the asynchronous and hybrid programs are not eligible to receive a stipend.

Programs offered:
In-person: Targeted courses that focus on Biomedical concepts and Engineering concepts will be offered

Asynchronous and Hybrid:
Courses will combine biomedical and engineering concepts

In-person GEMS will be offered at WRAIR, Silver Spring and at two other locations (TBA)

Program Timeline:

There will be 9 sessions of GEMS between June 12 – August 17, 2023
Session Dates and levels TBA

  • No class the week of July 3-6
  • Classes are Mon-Thurs from 8:30am – 3:30pm
  • Fridays are for pop-in events and is open to participants in asynchronous, hybrid and in-person sessions

**Please note that registration does not equal acceptance.
Confirmation e-mails will be sent to selected students starting on or around May 1.  Our goal is to complete 50% of the selections by April 30, 75% by May 15.  Remaining 25% selections will be finalized after registration closes on May 31.**

Information for Near-Peer Mentors, Assistant Near-Peer Mentors and Resource Teachers

The GEMS Near-Peer Mentor is typically a college undergraduate. Closer in age to our students, NPMs share their STEM interests with the students, guide students in a hands-on exploration of STEM concepts, and develop meaningful connections throughout the week. In addition to a strong understanding of the STEM content, NPMs offer guidance in choosing high school courses, applying to college and scholarships, and adjusting to college-level academics. NPMs receive stipends based on their educational level.

The Assistant Near-Peer Mentor is usually a high school senior or junior with interest in STEM fields and an ability to work as a team. ANPMs perform a variety of tasks such as maintaining the supply inventory, prepping the lab and assisting the NPM teach a class. Stipends are based on educational level.

The Resource Teacher may be a high school teacher or an academician/educator with a strong base in STEM fields.  The GEMS RT must be creative with the ability to multi-task and have strong leadership skills. Stipends are based on educational level and experience.

Information for Audio-Visual Intern Applicants

Typically a college undergraduate or HS senior, the Audio/Visual intern will serve as subject-matter expert and content developer (recording/editing/etc.) for STEM programming across all formats of GEMS.

Important Dates

December 15, 2022
Near-Peer Mentor, Assistant Near-Peer Mentor, Resource Teacher Applications open

February 22, 2023
Student Application opens

Interested in This Program?

If you are interested in this program email us or call 301-319-7129. We'd love to hear from you!