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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 430 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.

2015 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 2015-2016 school year.

MODULE

DESCRIPTION

ELIGIBILITY

ENROLLMENT

Simple Machines GEMS

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

4th-5th graders

24 students per session

Physical Science and Forensics GEMS

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

6th-7th graders

24 students per session

Robotics GEMS

Students build and program a robot to maneuver and conquer different tasks.

8th-9th graders

32 students per session

Medical GEMS

Students investigate the physiology of various human organ systems.

10th-11th graders

24 students per session



MODULE

SESSION 1

SESSION 2

SESSION 3

SESSION 4

Simple Machines GEMS

6-10 July

13-17 July

20-24 July

27-31 July

Physical Science and Forensics GEMS

6-10 July

13-17 July

20-24 July

27-31 July

Robotics GEMS

1-5 June

8-12 June

15-19 June

N/A

Medical GEMS

1-5 June

8-12 June

15-19 June

N/A

Application:
Not yet open for submissions, please check back early 2015!

GEMS INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Assistant Near-Peer Mentors

Description:
During the Assistant Near-Peer Mentor internship, students serve as role models for GEMS students, prepare materials for implementing STEM experiments, and gain hands-on experience to return and participate in the Near-Peer Mentor internship.

Students who are enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade during the 2014-2015 school year (i.e., rising 12th graders or rising college freshman for the 2015-2016 school year) are eligible to apply. Students should also be interested in pursuing a STEM- or education-related college degree program.

Assistant mentors are selected, via a competitive application and interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, and teaching ability. Assistant mentor candidates selected for program participation will undergo a security clearance/background investigation. Assistant mentors will earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities:
Assistant 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:
May 20, 2015 – July 31, 2015

Application:
APPLY to participate in the 2015 Assistant Near-Peer Mentor internship.

Near-Peer Mentors

Description:
During the Near-Peer Mentor internship, students are thoroughly trained in the conduct of the GEMS modules and in basic methods and practices of teaching. Once trained, 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.

Students who are currently enrolled in a STEM- or education-related college degree program are eligible to apply. Mentors are selected, via a competitive application and interview process, for their technical expertise, attitude, and teaching ability. Mentor candidates selected for program participation will undergo a security clearance/background investigation. Mentors will 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, and completing other assigned tasks.

Dates:
May 20, 2015 – July 31, 2015

Application:
APPLY to participate in the 2015 Near-Peer Mentor internship.

GEMS LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Resource Teacher

Description:
The Resource Teacher oversees 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 Teacher is typically an elementary, junior high, or high school teacher with experience teaching STEM-related concepts and lessons. The Resource Teacher is selected via a competitive interview process, for his/her technical expertise, attitude, teaching, and managing ability. The selected candidate will undergo a security clearance/background investigation. The Resource Teacher will earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities: The Resource Teacher is 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 Teacher is expected to be present for the duration of the GEMS modules for which the teacher is selected.

Dates:
May 11, 2015 – July 31, 2015

Application:
Teachers who are interested in participating in the Resource Teacher fellowship should send a copy of his/her résumé/curriculum vitae and three references to usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.list.sic@mail.mil.

DoDEA Observing Teacher(s)

Description:
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Observing Teacher is a local DoDEA teacher(s) who observes GEMS, interacts with GEMS students, GEMS mentors, and DoD STEM professionals, contributes his/her knowledge and expertise to enhance the GEMS curricula, and establishes a STEM education partnership with USAARL.

The DoDEA Observing Teacher(s) is selected via an interview process and will earn an educational stipend.

Responsibilities: The DoDEA Observing Teacher observes one session of the GEMS module of his/her choice.  The DoDEA Observing Teacher is expected to be present for the duration of that GEMS session.

Dates:
For session dates, see table under 2015 GEMS Modules.

Application:
Teachers who are interested in participating in the DoDEA Observing Teacher fellowship should send a copy of his/her résumé/curriculum vitae and three references to usarmy.rucker.medcom-usaarl.list.sic@mail.mil.

CONNECT TO USAARL GEMS

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Check out past program photos!

GEMS HAND-OUTS

Download USAARL GEMS Participant Brochure
Download USAARL GEMS Near-Peer Mentor Brochure

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

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.

APPLY

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

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