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 and learn about STEM careers under the guidance of college-level mentors called Near-Peer Mentors (NPMs).

About WRAIR

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 is comprised of two Centers of Excellence, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Some of the sophisticated research conducted in these centers is adapted and incorporated in the coursework for GEMS students.

Information for Students

2022 Summer GEMS will be available in three formats – asynchronous, hybrid and in-person.

In-Person GEMS will be offered at these locations

  • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), Silver Spring, MD
  • Montgomery College (MC), Takoma Park, MD
  • Bowie State University (BSU), Bowie, MD

Courses at all three locations will cover topics in biomedical and engineering GEMS for the following levels (Fall 2022):

  • Beginning (7th-8thgrade)
  • Intermediate (9th-10thgrade)
  • Advanced (11th-12thgrade)

Program hours:
Monday – Thursday: 8:30am – 3:30 pm
Fridays, 8:30-1:30

On Fridays, students across all formats – hybrid, asynchronous, in-person – may pop-in anytime during open hours. We will have live science activities, demonstrations and interactive units.

There is no cost to participate.  GEMS is free to all applicants.

Participants in the in-person session are eligible to receive $125 stipend upon completion of the program. Stipends are offered to help offset cost of transportation and food. There is no stipend offered to participants in the hybrid and asynchronous sessions.

In-person sessions at WRAIR, BSU and MC (Takoma Park campus)
June 13-17                                   Advanced and Intermediate levels at all three locations

June 21-24 (Tues-Fri)               Intermediate and Beginning levels at all three locations

June 27-July 1                             Advanced and Intermediate levels at all three locations

July 5-8 (Tues-Fri)                      Beginning level at all three locations

July 11-15                                     Intermediate and Beginning levels at all three locations

July 18-22                                     Advanced and Intermediate levels at all three locations

July 25-29                                     Advanced and Intermediate levels at all three locations

Aug 1-5                                         Intermediate and Beginning levels at all three locations

Aug 8-11 (Mon-Thurs)              Intermediate and Beginning levels at all three locations

Aug 15-18 (Mon-Thurs)            Advanced, Intermediate and Beginning levels at all three locations

Hybrid Sessions
Session 1: June 27 – July 1   Advanced and Intermediate levels

Session 2: July 5-8                 Intermediate and Beginning levels

Session 3: July 25-29             Advanced and Beginning levels

Session 4: Aug 1-5                 Intermediate and Beginning levels

Asynchronous sessions
Session 1: June 21-24            Intermediate and Beginning levels

Session 2: June 27-July 1      Advanced and Intermediate levels

Session 3: July 11-15             Intermediate and Beginning levels

Session 4: July 18-22             Advanced and Intermediate levels

Additional Information
Application deadline is April 30, 2022.
Students can attend only one in-person session at any one location (WRAIR, Bowie State University or Montgomery College, Takoma Park campus).
Applying to the program does not guarantee selection.
Notification of Selection will be sent starting May 15, 2022.

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

*application for NPMs/ANPMs/RTs is now closed.

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 an inventory of supplies, putting together supply kits and may even assist the NPM teach a class.

Resource Teacher is an integral member of the GEMS team. RT may be a high school teacher or an academician/educator with a strong base in STEM fields, have leadership skills, and is creative and highly motivated.

Information for Audio-Visual Intern Applicants

The GEMS audio/visual intern is a valued member of the NPM and ANPM team. Typically a college undergraduate or HS senior, the audio/visual intern will serve as a subject-matter expert and content developer (recording/editing/etc.) for STEM programming as a part of virtual and in-person GEMS.

Important Dates

February 15, 2022
Near-Peer Mentor, Assistant Near-Peer Mentor, Resource Teacher Applications close

May 20222
Student Applications still open

Coming Soon
Program dates

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!

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