Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) Program Seeking Volunteers

Last date was Saturday, August 14th, 2021 from 9:00am to 3:00pm (ET)
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With support from the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) hosts the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program. WRAIR GEMS invites college-aged interns to mentor middle and high school students in a professional laboratory environment (or online, depending on the state of the pandemic). During nine single-week sessions, GEMS students participate in a hands-on learning experience and gain exposure to the diversity of STEM fields and careers.

The mission of GEMS is to:
● Increase interest, engagement, and performance in STEM for student participants.
● Support undergraduates and recent graduates in a STEM education internship.
● Mentor and facilitate experiential learning with 7th – 12th grade students from underrepresented populations in STEM.

WRAIR GEMS is seeking STEM undergraduates to participate in our 2021 summer program as “nearpeer mentors.” As we adjust to ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the GEMS program will be implemented as a virtual STEM enrichment program or a mix of virtual and inperson programing (decision pending). Mentors will have access to our teaching lab facility and technology to develop, prepare, and implement learning materials. We provide competitive monthly stipends commensurate with education and experience.

As a near-peer mentor, you will:
● Serve as a lab instructor, subject matter expert, role model for academic success, curriculum developer, and lab safety officer.
● Design, facilitate, and evaluate original STEM modules, which draw from topics in your area(s) of interest.
● Collaborate with a team of fellow near-peer mentors to implement additional modules throughout the summer.
● Prepare and submit formally written lesson plan(s) for all implemented modules.
● Prepare a poster to present at an in-house symposium for peers, guests, and WRAIR scientists.

Former near-peer mentors have developed modules challenging students to engineer balloon catheters, design water purification systems, examine insects involved in decomposition and forensic science, model brain tumor diagnosis and surgery, etc. Our mentors have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in STEM, medical school, and have accepted positions as teaching and research assistants in their fields, in addition to other STEM-focused careers.

The ideal near-peer mentor is/has:
● Currently majoring in, and passionate about a STEM field.
● Interested in teaching, mentoring, and communicating science to the community.
● Previous experience in a research laboratory (preferred).
● Previous experience as a teaching assistant, mentor, and/or volunteer (preferred).
● Positive attitude, willingness to work in a fast-paced environment, and a sense of humor.
● Flexible and able to work well within a team. Other Requirements:
● Available 1 June through 14 August 2021 (dates negotiable to accommodate school schedules).
● United States citizen or permanent resident.
● Able to complete military background checks (Public Trust security clearance and a Child-Youth Services security clearance).
● Able to arrange housing and transportation for the duration of the internship. How to Apply:

Register and apply online at and select “Apply Today” under the “Additional Details” heading (near-peer mentor applications open 15 November 2020* and close 29 January 2021*). Select “Near-Peer Mentor” when registering. You may also choose to email your resume to to confirm your application and registration or call one of the numbers below for guidance.
Kevin J. Morris, Ph.D. | (301) 319-3022
Holly K. M. Brown, Ph.D. | (301) 319-9986 
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Requirement Details
Wondering if you should register to volunteer? Based on the CDC guidelines, we are asking you the following questions:
  1. Have you been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19? See the CDC’s risk assessment guidance.

  2. Do you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19? Symptoms can include a cough or shortness of breath or at least two of the following: Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, New loss of taste or smell. See the CDC’s symptom information.

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, we ask you not to register. We are doing all we can to align with best practices and keep our community healthy.
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