Registration is open for free, annual summer GEMS camp

Published 1:01 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Registration is open for virtual and in-person summer camps geared toward middle and high-school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

Seventh through 12th-grade students are encouraged to sign up online for Gains in the Education of Math and Science, also known as the GEMS Summer Program. The camps are free, and the deadline to register is May 15.

Sponsored by the U.S. Army and hosted by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), the five-day camps give students a chance to learn more about Army engineering in a fun, hands-on environment. 

“Our mission is to interest the young people of Vicksburg who might not otherwise give serious thought to becoming scientists or engineers,” said Shelley Tingle, an ERDC employee who also volunteers as a GEMS camp director.  “We want them to get a closer look at STEM careers early enough that they have the time to attain the appropriate academic training.” 

During the camp, which is based on a multi-disciplinary educational curriculum, students will learn about science, engineering, mathematics, robotics, chemistry and biology.

For the first time in GEMS Summer Program history in Vicksburg, both in-person and virtual camp options are available, expanding opportunities during COVID-19 restrictions. 

GEMS I will be held online June 14-18 for outgoing eighth through ninth-graders, with GEMS II for outgoing ninth through 11th graders set for July 12-16. To register for the virtual camps, visit

In-person camps will be held at the Academy of Innovation in Vicksburg. Students who have completed sixth through seventh grade are eligible for GEMS I, scheduled June 7-11. GEMS II: 3D Printing Camp will be offered June 21-25 to students who have completed eighth through ninth grade, and GEMS II: Biology/Forensic Science Camp will be June 28-July 2 for students who have completed ninth grade. To attend any of the in-person camps, visit