Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education

The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory’s involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education outreach is a result of Executive Order (EO) 12821 - Improving Mathematics and Science Education in Support of the National Education Goals. The STEM programs offered at USAARL — the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science program and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education program — support the advancement of STEM-related initiatives and disciplines to achieve National Education Goals.

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GEMS PROGRAM

USAARL GEMS Program Graphic for 2015

Overview

The USAARL Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program is an extracurricular, STEM education program that enables students from the Wiregrass region of southeast Alabama to engage in hands-on experiments, which are age- and grade-appropriate, and to focus on STEM career fields. GEMS program students learn numerous math and science concepts; practice the scientific method, problem solving, and speaking in a public forum; gain exposure to a laboratory setting; and interact with military and civilian technicians, clinicians, scientists, and engineers. GEMS aims to reach students who are underserved or historically underrepresented in STEM.

The program is organized such that college-age students, called Near-Peer Mentors, lead the GEMS modules and serve as role models to the students by promoting science and math concepts and by acting as expert resources concerning college life and career pathways. The mentors, who are close in age to the GEMS students, create a relaxed atmosphere ideal for learning. The program is strengthened by resource teachers who are knowledgeable in STEM education, train the mentors, and oversee the day-to-day operations of GEMS.

Since 2011, the USAARL GEMS program has provided STEM education to over 700 students from Fort Rucker, Enterprise, Ozark, Daleville, Dothan, and other local communities. Each year the program has grown in both the modules offered and the number of students who complete the program.

GEMS STUDENT OPPORTUNITY

GEMS is offered at no cost to the participant. Students who complete each day of the program, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, earn an educational stipend. Students may complete one session of GEMS per summer. Eligibility is based on grade level during 2017-2018 school year.

Modules:

MODULE

DESCRIPTION

ELIGIBILITY

Simple Machines GEMS

Students explore basic engineering as they build, test, and evaluate simple machines.

4th-5th graders

Forensics GEMS

Students investigate problem solving, engineering, physics/force of motion, and forensics techniques.

6th-7th graders

Robotics GEMS

Students build and program a robot to maneuver and conquer different tasks using LEGO and VEX engineering, design, and programming.

8th-9th graders

Medical GEMS

Students investigate the physiology of various human organ systems, and learn about various healthcare professions.

10th-11th graders

Session Dates:

SESSION

DATES

TIME

Session 1

June 19-23

8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Session 2

June 26-30

8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Session 3

July 10-14

8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Session 4

July 17-21

8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Application:
The USAARL GEMS Student application packet has three parts:

  • An online application;
  • One GEMS Student Essay Form, including grade-level appropriate essay responses to two questions; and
  • One GEMS Student Recommendation Form completed by a teacher/professor, a school administrator, a school counselor, a career counselor, an athletic coach, a troop leader, a previous employer, a professional mentor, etc.

Click here for our handy Student Application Instructions Sheet (104KB) Adobe PDF Document

Note: The online application, the GEMS Student Essay Form, and the GEMS Student Recommendation Form are required for all GEMS Student applicants. An application packet is not considered complete until all three components of the application are received.

The GEMS Student Essay Form can be faxed to 334-255-6983, e-mailed to usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.mbx.stem@mail.mil, or hand delivered to USAARL, Building 6901 Farrel Road, Fort Rucker, AL.

The GEMS Student Recommendation Form should be submitted directly by the recommender. The GEMS Student Recommendation Form can be faxed to 334-255-6983, e-mailed to usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.mbx.stem@mail.mil, or hand delivered to USAARL, Building 6901 Farrel Road, Fort Rucker, AL.

Waitlist application deadline:
April 30, 2017

The online application, GEMS Student Essay Form, and GEMS Student Recommendation Form, must be received by the waitlist application deadline, April 30, 2017. Only complete application packets received before or on March 14, 2017 are reviewed for program selection. Each applicant is given equal consideration for selection based on the individual merits of the applicant.

Application packets received after March 14, 2017 will be added to the waitlist and reviewed for program selection based on the availability of openings. Application packets will not be accepted after April 30, 2017.

GEMS LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Near-Peer Mentors

Near-Peer Mentor Flyer

Eligibility:
Students who are enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade during the 2016-2017 school year (i.e., rising 12th graders or rising college freshman for the 2017-2018 school year) or students who are currently enrolled in a STEM- or education-related college degree program are eligible to apply for the Near-Peer Mentor opportunity. Mentors are selected, via a competitive application and interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, and teaching ability.

Description:
The mentors are thoroughly trained in the conduct of the GEMS modules and in basic methods and practices of teaching. The mentors teach the experiments to the students and serve as role models to the students by promoting science and math courses and by acting as expert resources concerning college life and career pathways. Mentors serve as role models for GEMS students and prepare materials for implementing STEM experiments. Mentor candidates selected for program participation will undergo a security clearance/background investigation. Mentors earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities:
Mentors are responsible for learning experiment protocols, preparing materials for the experiments, teaching experiments, implementing safety procedures, engaging and supervising students, mentoring students, maintaining ethical behavior, documenting the program through photography and film, and completing other assigned tasks.

Dates:
The 2017 GEMS Near-Peer Mentor Application is closed.

Resource Teachers

Resource Teacher Flyer

Eligibility:
The Resource Teachers are typically certified elementary, junior high, or high school teachers with experience teaching STEM-related concepts and lessons. The Resource Teachers are selected via a competitive interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, and teaching and managerial skills.

Description:
The Resource Teachers oversee the GEMS mentors who are eager to have a positive impact on the education and lives of GEMS students, teach STEM experiments to GEMS students who are motivated to learn, encourage GEMS students to pursue STEM-related careers, build a relationship with Department of Defense STEM professionals, and enhance their own STEM-related teaching skills. The selected candidates will undergo a security clearance/background investigation. The Resource Teachers earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities:
The Resource Teachers are primarily responsible for implementing the GEMS program according to the curricula, training and overseeing the activities of the Near-Peer Mentors, providing to GEMS mentors and students guidance related to STEM experiments, preparing supplies and materials, managing the day-to-day operations of GEMS, ensuring the safety of GEMS students and mentors, and leading regular after action review meetings with staff. The Resource Teachers are expected to be present for the duration of the GEMS modules for which they are selected.

Dates:
Weeks of June 5 through July 25, 2017; Monday through Friday; 7:30 am to 4:30 pm

Application:
The USAARL GEMS Resource Teacher application packet has three parts:

  • An online application;
  • A résumé highlighting past work experience, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and significant awards/scholarships; and
  • Two Resource Teacher Recommendation Forms completed by fellow teachers/co-workers, school administrators, and/or previous employers.

Note: The online application, résumé, and the GEMS Resource Teacher Recommendation Form are required for all GEMS Resource Teacher applicants. An application packet is not considered complete until all components of the application are received.

The applicant uploads to the online application the résumé.

The recommenders submit the completed GEMS Resource Teacher Recommendation Forms to usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.mbx.stem@mail.mil or fax the forms to 334-255-6983.

Apply to the Resource Teacher opportunity:  http://www.cvent.com/d/lvqwkb/4W External Site Icon

Download the Resource Teacher Recommendation Form.

Completed application packets (including the Resource Teacher Recommendation Forms) must be received by: DEADLINE EXTENDED to April 30, 2017.

DoDEA Observing Teachers

Description:
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Observing Teachers are typically regional DoDEA teachers who observe GEMS; interact with GEMS students, GEMS mentors, and DoD STEM professionals; contribute knowledge and expertise to enhance the GEMS curricula; and establish a STEM education partnership with USAARL. The DoDEA Observing Teachers are selected via an interview process and earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities:
The DoDEA Observing Teachers are expected to be present for the duration of the GEMS module and session for which they are selected.

Application Instructions:
Application information will be announced at a later date.

USAARL GEMS CONTACT

USAARL GEMS Program Coordinator
334-255-6067
usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.mbx.stem@mail.mil


ORISE Program

ORISE Program

Overview

In 2006, USAARL began utilizing, through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the DOE’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Research Participation Program (RPP). The ORISE RPP, which is operated by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), provides opportunities for students (high school through graduate school), postgraduates (Doctoral, Master, Bachelor, and Associate degree recipients), faculty members, visiting scientists, and retired federal affiliated personnel to participate in a STEM program, project, or activity at federal agencies, like USAARL. USAARL’s ORISE program components are as follows.

ORISE INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

The Student Research Participation Program provides high school juniors or seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students the opportunity to participate in research and development activities. This program is intended to enhance the students’ educational development by providing practical research experiences closely related to their academic pursuits.

The Postgraduate Research Participation Program provides individuals with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or post-doctorate degree in an appropriate STEM discipline the opportunity to participate in applied research activities. This program is intended to enhance the participants’ background and experience and allow them to make a research contribution in their chosen field of study.

The Certificate Program provides individuals who are currently pursuing, or have received a certificate in a STEM related discipline the opportunity to enhance their educational development by gaining practical experience closely related to their academic pursuits.

The Faculty Participation Program provides research opportunities to precollege STEM educators as well as college and university STEM faculty.

The Knowledge Preservation Program provides opportunities for retired professionals to assist in avoiding the critical shortages in technical expertise as large numbers of professionals retire. Participants are paired with post-doctoral fellows, junior researchers, and other staff to preserve the knowledge that is critical to meeting current and future program commitments.

Application Instructions:

To learn about the eligibility requirements for the ORISE RPPs, open internship opportunities at USAARL, and to apply to an open internship opportunity at USAARL visit http://www.orau.org/maryland/participants/default.htm External Site Icon

USAARL ORISE CONTACT

USAARL ORISE Program Coordinator
334-255-6906
usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.list.sic@mail.mil


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This Web site provides an introduction to the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) and contains official Government information. Its use is intended for members of the general public, news media and Army Medical Department beneficiaries. Please address questions or concerns about this website to the USAARL Public Affairs Office via email or by telephone at 334-255-6883