Frequently Asked Questions

  • I have a student that loves STEM! How can we participate in the GEMS event?
    • There are two ways for students to participate in GEMS. For the first option, a group of students in grades 4 thru 12 can create a project relating to science, technology, engineering or math to present at the GEMS event as a Student STEM Ambassador. It is similar to a science fair project but it can be related to any area of STEM from animal adaptations to robotics to math and so much more! Applications for Student STEM Ambassadors are available beginning in August, and you can always email for additional information.
    • If you are unable to participate as a Student STEM Ambassador, you and your student can attend the GEMS event. During the event, you will be able to visit the projects created by our Student STEM Ambassadors to learn a little more about STEM from your peers. Then, you can visit the Community Booths to see various STEM organizations. Each Community Booth will have hands-on activities or demonstrations relating to science, technology, engineering or math, and you can also ask about the many STEM careers available through these organizations!
    • GEMS is an open house style event, which means you can spend a little time at every table learning about everything, or you can spend more time learning about your favorite subjects. Feel free to stay for an hour or the whole event!
  • How old do you have to be to attend the GEMS event?
    • The GEMS event is designed for students of all ages. We will have a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations that appeal to all types of learners from toddlers to adults.
  • Do I have to be a scout to participate as a Student STEM Ambassador or attend the event?
    • No, the GEMS event is open to everyone. You do not have to be a scout to attend or to participate as a Student STEM Ambassador.
  • Do I have to register for the GEMS event ahead of time?
    • No, you do not need to register to attend the GEMS event in advance. The GEMS ticket is included with a ticket to our permanent exhibit halls. To attend GEMS, show up to HMNS, and purchase a ticket to the permanent exhibit halls or use your HMNS Membership to get free access to GEMS! If you would like to participate as a GEMS Student STEM Ambassador, you do need to submit your application by mid-January. The deadline will be posted on the application, and can be found on the Student STEM Ambassador page.
  • I heard that there is a GEMS Overnight the Friday night before GEMS. Do I have to spend the night to participate in GEMS on Saturday?
    • The GEMS Overnight is the night before the GEMS event, and it is exclusively for Girl Scouts and their leaders. You do not have to participate in the overnight to attend the GEMS event the following day. If you would like to know more about the GEMS Overnight, please visit our Scout Overnights page here or email for more information.
  • If I have a scout, do they earn a patch at GEMS?
    • There is not a formal program for a scout to earn a patch at the GEMS event, but we do have a set of commemorative patches available for purchase during the event. If you are interested in earning patches, badges or loops at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, we do offer scout classes on Saturdays and during the summer. Visit to learn about our scouts programs.
  • Is this event open to boys as well?
    • Yes, any student is welcome to participate as a Student STEM Ambassador and to attend the GEMS event.
  • How long is the GEMS event?
    • The GEMS event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is an open house style event, so you can stop in and see the booths at your leisure. You are welcome to stop in for an hour, or stay for the whole event!
  • I am part of an organization or club that participates in STEM. How can I get involved in GEMS?
    • In addition to our Student STEM Ambassadors, we have Community Booths hosted by local STEM organizations and associations. These organizations will present hands-on activities and demonstrations to GEMS visitors that day and share some of their knowledge from working in a STEM career. To apply to be a Community Booth, email, and we will add you to our notification list. Applications will be available beginning in August.
  • Do you have any volunteer positions for the GEMS event?
    • At this point in time, we do not have any singular volunteer positions. All of our Community Booths are staffed by volunteers from the organization hosting the booth. If you are interested in organizing a booth, please email to find out how!
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The Houston Museum of Natural Science is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.