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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
 
USAARL GEMS Program Graphic for 2015

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.

GEMS Program

OVERVIEW

The USAARL Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program is an extracurricular, STEM education program that enables students 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.

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 a resource teacher who is knowledgeable in STEM education and who trains the mentors and oversees the day-to-day operation of GEMS.

Since 2011, the USAARL GEMS program has provided STEM education to over 780 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.

2016 GEMS MODULES

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 2016-2017 school year.

MODULE

DESCRIPTION

ELIGIBILITY

ENROLLMENT

Planetary GEMS

Students investigate and explore the fields of geology, oceanography, and meteorology.

4th-5th graders

24 students per session

Neuroscience GEMS

Students explore the five senses to learn about the brain and neurological processes.

6th-7th graders

24 students per session

Biochemistry GEMS

Students challenge themselves with experiments focusing on chemistry, biology, and biochemistry.

8th-9th graders

24 students per session

Nanotechnology GEMS

Students create, explore, and manipulate materials and matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.

10th-11th graders

24 students per session

Dates:

MODULE

SESSION 1

SESSION 2

SESSION 3

SESSION 4

Planetary GEMS

20-24 June

27 June - 1 July

11-15 July

18-22 July

Neuroscience GEMS

20-24 June

27 June - 1 July

11-15 July

18-22 July

Biochemistry GEMS

20-24 June

27 June - 1 July

11-15 July

18-22 July

Nanotechnology GEMS

20-24 June

27 June - 1 July

11-15 July

18-22 July

Application:
Student applicants must submit the online application (which includes the student’s answers to the two essay questions) and a completed Teacher Recommendation Form.

The Teacher Recommendation Form can be uploaded to the application. Alternatively, the Teacher Recommendation Form can be faxed to 334-255-6983 or emailed to usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.mbx.gems@mail.mil.

The two essay questions are:
1) Why would you like to participate in GEMS this summer?
2) What areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are you most interested in and why?

Student applicants should prepare grade-level appropriate essay answers and collect the completed Teacher Recommendation Form (if uploading the Form) before starting the application.

Apply to the GEMS program here:
http://www.cvent.com/d/1fq72q.

Note: The Teacher Recommendation form is a requirement for all GEMS Student applicants. An application is not considered complete until the application and the teacher recommendation are received.

Application deadline: March 14, 2016

Acceptance notifications will be sent via email by April 15, 2016.

GEMS INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Assistant Near-Peer Mentors

Description:
Assistant Near-Peer Mentors serve as role models for GEMS students (i.e., 4th-11th graders), prepare materials for implementing STEM experiments, and gain hands-on experience to apply to, and, if selected, participate in the Near-Peer Mentor internship.

Individuals who are enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade during the 2015-2016 school year (i.e., rising 12th graders or rising college freshman during the 2016-2017 school year) are eligible to apply. Applicants should have completed STEM-based coursework and be interested in pursuing a STEM- or education-related college degree program.

Assistant Near-Peer Mentors are selected, via a competitive application and interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, and teaching ability. If selected, Assistant Near-Peer Mentors undergo a security clearance/background investigation and earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities:
Assistant Near-Peer 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:
Beginning the week of 6 June through the week of 25 July, Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 4:30

Application:
Applicants to the 2016 USAARL GEMS Assistant Near-Peer Mentor internship must upload to the application the following:

  • Unofficial or official academic transcripts;
  • A résumé highlighting past work experience, extracurricular/volunteer activities, and significant awards/scholarships; and
  • Two letters of recommendation from a teacher/professor, school administrator, and/or previous employer. The letters should specifically state the applicant’s ability to excel as an Assistant Near-Peer Mentor for the GEMS program, include the recommender’s contact information, and be signed directly by the recommender.

Applicants should collect these documents before starting the application.

Apply to the Assistant Near-Peer Mentor internship here: http://www.cvent.com/d/1fq72q.
Note: Students applying as Assistant Near-Peer Mentors will choose the “Near-Peer Mentor” option when selecting what he/she is “Applying As.”

Application deadline: January 31, 2016

Near-Peer Mentors

Description:
Near-Peer Mentors are thoroughly trained in the conduct of the GEMS modules and in basic methods and practices of teaching. Once trained, the Near-Peer Mentors teach experiments to 4th-11th grade 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.

Individuals who are currently enrolled in a STEM- or education-related college degree program are eligible to apply. Near-Peer Mentors are selected, via a competitive application and interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, and teaching ability. If selected, Near-Peer Mentors undergo a security clearance/background investigation and earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities:
Near-Peer 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, and completing other assigned tasks.

Dates:
Beginning the week of 6 June through the week of 25 July, Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 4:30

Application:
Applicants to the 2016 USAARL GEMS Near-Peer Mentor internship must upload to the application the following:

  • Unofficial or official academic transcripts;
  • A résumé highlighting past work experience, extracurricular/volunteer activities, and significant awards/scholarships; and
  • Two letters of recommendation from a teacher/professor, school administrator, and/or previous employer. The letters should specifically state the applicant’s ability to excel as a Near-Peer Mentor for the GEMS program, include the recommender’s contact information, and be signed directly by the recommender.

Applicants should collect these documents before starting the application.

Apply to the Near-Peer Mentor internship here: http://www.cvent.com/d/1fq72q.

Application deadline: January 31, 2016

 

GEMS FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Resource Teachers

Description:
The Resource Teachers oversee the GEMS mentors who are eager to have a positive impact on the education and lives of GEMS students, teaches STEM experiments to GEMS students who are motivated to learn, encourages GEMS students to pursue STEM-related careers, builds a relationship with DoD STEM professionals, and enhances his/her own STEM-related teaching skills.

The Resource Teachers are typically elementary, junior high, or high school certified teachers or individuals with experience teaching STEM-related concepts and lessons. The Resource Teachers are selected via a competitive interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, teaching, and managing ability. If selected, the Resource Teachers undergo a security clearance/background investigation and 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 assistant near-peer mentors and 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 the teachers are selected.

Dates:
Beginning the week of 6 June through the week of 25 July, Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 4:30

Application:
Applicants to the 2016 USAARL GEMS Resource Teacher fellowship must upload to the application the following:

  • A résumé highlighting past work experience, extracurricular/volunteer activities, and significant awards/honors; and
  • Two letters of recommendation from a colleague, school administrator, and/or previous employer. The letters should specifically state the applicant’s ability to excel as a Resource Teacher for the GEMS program, include the recommender’s contact information, and be signed directly by the recommender.

Applicants should collect these documents before starting the application.

Apply to the Resource Teacher fellowship here: http://www.cvent.com/d/1fq72q.

Application deadline: January 31, 2016

DoDEA Observing Teacher(s)

Description:
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Observing Teachers are 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:
Each DoDEA Observing Teachers observe one session of the GEMS module of their choice. The DoDEA Observing Teachers are expected to be present for the duration of that GEMS session.

Dates:
For session dates, see table under 2016 GEMS Modules (above).

Application:
Applicants to the 2016 USAARL GEMS DoDEA Observing Teacher fellowship must upload to the application the following:

  • A résumé highlighting past work experience, extracurricular/volunteer activities, and significant awards/honors; and
  • Two letters of recommendation from a colleague, school administrator, and/or previous employer. The letters should specifically state the applicant’s ability to excel as a DoDEA Observing Teacher for the GEMS program, include the recommender’s contact information, and be signed directly by the recommender.

Applicants should collect these documents before starting the application.

Application:
GEMS DoDEA Observing Teacher application information is forthcoming.

CONNECT TO USAARL GEMS

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Subscribe to the USAARL YouTube channel!

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Check out past program photos!

GEMS HAND-OUTS

Download USAARL GEMS Participant Brochure Adobe PDF Indicator
Download USAARL GEMS Near-Peer Mentor Brochure Adobe PDF Indicator

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

Seperator

ORISE Program

OVERVIEW

In 2006, USAARL began utilizing, through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel 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.

LEARN MORE AND APPLY

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

USAARL ORISE CONTACT
USAARL ORISE Program Coordinator
334-255-6797

 
     

 
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