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DoD STARBASE . . . A Hands-On STEM Learning Opportunity!

07/12/2013 Published by: Suzanne

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Categories: Your Child's Ages & Stages, Student 2 Student Programs Worldwide, Special Topics

Do you have a student entering the 5th or 6th grade this fall?  Here is a potential opportunity for him or her to enjoy some hands-on experiential learning in the “STEM” areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


  • In 1991 “Project STARS” started in Detroit, Michigan under the guidance of Brigadier General David Arendts, the 12th Wing Commander at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, with a curriculum designed by Barbara Koscak and Rick Simms.
  • Based on “Project STARS”, in 1993 Congress appropriated funds to pilot the “DoD STARBASE” program with locations in 7 states.
  • Currently there are 76 locations with 4 Native American outreach programs spanning across 40 states including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • In 2010 the afterschool mentoring program called STARBASE 2.0 for middle school students was piloted in five locations.  STARBASE 2.0 grew to 24 locations in 2012 and this year it will be in 37 locations!

What is STARBASE’s Mission Statement?

“By exposing youth to the technological environments and positive role models found on military bases and installations, we will provide 20-25 hours of exemplary instruction, using a common core curriculum that meets or exceeds the national standards.  We will nurture a winning network of collaborators and build mutual loyalty.”

What is the cost?

All program materials are paid for by the Department of Defense.  Transportation and food provisions arenot included in this federal funding.

What kinds of subjects are studied?

The inquiry-based curriculum covers subjects like Newton’s laws, Bernoulli’s principle, nanotechnology, navigation and mapping with math embedded throughout using metric measurement, estimation, calculation, geometry and data analysis.  Computers are used to design things like space stations, all-terrain vehicles and submersibles.

Where are STARBASE programs located?

Academies are located within the different branches of the military.

Two Types of Opportunities (Location Dependent):

  1. Summer Academies – Individual students sign up for 4 or 5-day academies during the summer months.
  2. School-Year Academies – Whole classrooms attend the academies during their school-day hours for a period of time determined by the location of their program and their school.

Where can I get more information?

A program description and more details can be found at the National STARBASE website.

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