GEMS program
Near-peer mentor PamiAnn Juback guides students through the process of making a thermometer and measuring water temperature.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 5, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory once again offers the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science program, or GEMS, at Fort Rucker.

The program aims to foster students' motivation to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM. The GEMS program makes math and science fun by engaging students in a variety of hand-on experiments.

The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, or USAARL, GEMS program began in 2011 by engaging 51 students in a Beginning GEMS program, during which students investigated problem solving, estimation, water properties, physics/forces of motion and forensics. Six near-peer mentors led the students through the different math and science experiments.

This year, USAARL will expand the GEMS program by offering a new Beginning GEMS program and an Intermediate GEMS program.

During the 2012 Beginning GEMS program, students will explore the five senses -- hearing, sight, taste, smell and touch -- to help them learn more about the brain and neurological processes.

The Beginning GEMS sessions will be held June 18-22 and June 25-29. Students who completed the fifth and sixth grades during the 2011-2012 school year and who are family members of military, Department of Defense civilians or DOD contractors working at Fort Rucker are eligible to apply to the Beginning GEMS program.

The Intermediate GEMS program will focus on chemistry, biology and biochemistry. The Intermediate GEMS sessions will be held July 9-13 and July 16-20. Students who completed the seventh and eighth grades during the 2011-2012 school year and who are family members of military, DOD civilians, or DOD contractors working at Fort Rucker, are eligible to apply for the Intermediate GEMS program.

Students may apply to one session of the GEMS program for which they are eligible. This program is offered at no cost to the student. Rather, students will earn a stipend for attending each day of the program and for successfully completing the experiments.

Near-peer mentors will lead the Beginning and Intermediate GEMS programs and serve as role models for the students. Near-peer mentors will complete an extensive training program during which they will learn how to conduct and teach the GEMS experiments. The dates for GEMS near-peer mentor training and program implementation are June 4-July 20.

College-age students who have completed at least one year of post high school education and have experience teaching children/youth are eligible to apply for the GEMS Near-Peer Mentor program. Near-peer mentors will earn a stipend for completing all training requirements, attending each day of the program, assisting with program set-up and break-down and carrying out assigned duties.

To learn more about the USAARL GEMS program or to apply for the program, visit the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program website at http://www.usaeop.com/programs/gems/, call the USAARL GEMS program coordinator at (334) 255-6906 or send an email to ssc@amedd.army.mil.

Applications must be received no later than April 20.

Page last updated Mon April 9th, 2012 at 07:37