The WRAIR GEMS 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).

Information for Near-Peer Mentor

The GEMS NPM is typically a college undergraduate or a HS senior. 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.

Information for Students

This year, due to COVID-19 impacts, most sessions will be delivered on a hybrid platform and one session will be on a virtual platform.
There is no cost to participate.
Students participating in the hybrid sessions are eligible to receive $125 stipend upon successful completion of the session.

We are not offering separate Biomedical and Engineering GEMS. Sessions at all levels will cover biomedical, bioengineering and engineering topics.
Lab activities have been adapted for a virtual platform keeping student engagement and participation as the primary focus.

Hybrid sessions are 4.5 days (Mon-Thursday full day; Fridays half day)
Virtual session offered the week of July 6 – 9 is for 4 days.

Hybrid Session dates and levels
June 14-18          Advanced/Intermediate
June 21-25          Advanced/Intermediate
June 28-July 2    Beginning
July 6-9 (VIRTUAL) Beginning/Intermediate/Advanced*
July 12-16           Beginning/Intermediate
July 19-23           Advanced/Intermediate
July 26-30           Beginning/Intermediate
Aug 2-6                Beginning/Intermediate
Aug 9-13             Advanced/Intermediate

*Session starts on Tuesday

Important Dates

January 29, 2021
Near-Peer Mentor Applications Close

February 15 - May 31, 2021
Student applications open
Selections will be reviewed and finalized within 6 weeks after registrations close.

More Information

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

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 provides unique research capabilities and innovative solutions to a range of force health and readiness challenges currently facing U.S. Service Members, along with threats anticipated during future operations. With comprehensive research units in Africa, Asia, and the Caucasus region, WRAIR is comprised of two Centers of Excellence, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

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!