DoD STARBASE is a premier educational program, sponsored by the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. At DoD STARBASE students participate in challenging “hands-on, minds-on” activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the “real world.” Indiana's Starbase program provides students with 25 hours of stimulating experiences at military installations in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, South Bend and Gary Indiana.
DoD STARBASE’s primary focus is the program for fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore STEM opportunities as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically under represented in STEM. Students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance, or have a disability are in the target group. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.
1.0 focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically under-represented in STEM. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.
The program engages students through the inquiry-based curriculum with its "hands-on, mind-on" experiential activities. They study Newton's Laws and Bernoulli's principle; explore nanotechnology, navigation and mapping. They are captivated by engineering as they use the computer to design space station components, then print them out on the 3D printer. Math is embedded throughout the curriculum and students use metric measurement, estimation, calculation geometry and data analysis to solve questions. Teamwork is stressed as they work together to explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate concepts.
Since the academies are located in different branches of the military this experience is highly varied. Students may discuss how chemical fires are extinguished, learn how injured are transported, see an A-10 up close or the interior of a submarine.
2.0 AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM
A Deeper Dive
STARBASE 2.0 has a unique program design, incorporating elements of team mentoring, school-based mentoring, and after school programming. Team mentoring refers to a group setting where the youth to adult ratio is relatively low, with less than five youth to one adult. School-based mentoring describes one-on-one mentoring that usually takes place within a student's school day on the school grounds. After school programming refers to extracurricular activities that generally occur on school grounds after regular school hours.
The combination of these types of programs provides a highly safe and structured environment that supports school goals, fosters peer relationships, and appeals to non-traditional mentors The unique combination aligns with the intended outcomes of the program to increase STEM interest and knowledge, reduce high-risk behavior, increase engagement with school, and increase career awareness.
SUMMER STEM ACADEMIES
Connecting Community and Careers
Our summer camps explore the best of our local community STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) collaborations. In addition to learning at our host STARBASE locations, we travel around our local communities to bring students the latest in STEAM learning. We pack these 5 day programs with any of the following: computer design, aviation investigations, the science of baseball, robotics programming, or one of our very favorites-rocket launches.
In addition to experiments and rocket launches, we know campers are also building skills in observation, investigation, science, technology, engineering, and math. Not to mention confidence!
25 Years of Starbase
The DoD STARBASE Program first originated in Detroit, Michigan as Project STARS in 1991. The curriculum, designed by Barbara Koscak and Rick Simms, focused on exposing at-risk youth, (4-6 grade) to innovative hands-on activities in science, technology and mathematics based on the physics of flight. Under the guidance of Brig. Gen. David Arendts, 127th wing commander at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, students were invited to Selfridge to participate and witness the application of scientific concepts in a “real world” setting. National Guard personnel demonstrated the use of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in their fields of expertise and served as role models to the attending students.
In 1993, the U.S. Congress appropriated funds for DoD STARBASE and piloted the program in seven states. There are now locations spread across the United States and its territories. To date, programs are held at the following locations: Air Force (10 locations), Air Force Reserve (4 locations), Army (1 location), National Guard (50 locations), and Marine Corps (1 location). Programs now include initiatives for learners of many grade and age levels.
To accommodate the growing demand for additional STEM programs, a structured after school mentoring program, STARBASE 2.0, for middle school students was piloted in 2010 at five locations. The program’s success relies on collaboration between the sponsoring military unit and STARBASE Academy, the school district, and local communities. The goal is for each STARBASE Academy to sponsor a 2.0 program.
"The desire to achieve is won or lost in the mind of the students… but the outcome depends on the judgment, skill and courage of the individuals. I personally guarantee that STARBASE Indiana promotes a plethora of attributes that will do nothing but help our children be successful in all of their endeavors faced while climbing the ladder of success."
- CMSgt James E. Salway II,
State Command Chief,
Indiana Air National Guard
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