What is the Kansas STARBASE program?
STARBASE is a youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program of the United States Department of Defense. Kansas STARBASE is one of the largest National Guard STARBASE programs in the nation, with more than 300 volunteers from the Kansas Air and Army National Guards donating their time and talent to the program. As part of the program, military pilots, mechanics, security officers and other uniquely-trained military personnel assist in five-day academies to teach Kansas fifth graders practical, job-earning skills. The program uses hands-on, active, fun learning projects to apply math and science concepts to daily life. Kansas STARBASE, Inc., a non-profit corporation, operates the STARBASE program on behalf of the Kansas National Guard.
Why is the National Guard involved in the STARBASE program?
"The STARBASE program fulfills one of the Kansas Air and Army National Guard's important missions-community service," said Major General Tod Bunting, former Adjutant General of Kansas. He also stated "Military volunteers in the STARBASE program help students apply the principles of math, science, technology and personal growth to their daily lives. Most importantly, STARBASE provides us with an opportunity to be a positive role model and instill the value of characer in the youth participating in the program."
How is STARBASE funded?
The STARBASE program is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Individuals and foundations as well as civic and service groups also support STARBASE through financial and volunteer contributions. STARBASE receives no state funding.
Where do youth in the STARBASE program come from?
More than 200 school districts from 53 counties have participated in the program since its inception. Students from Title 1 schools are given priority enrollment from September through May and weeklong academies are open to 4th through 6th grade students from the general public during the summer. Title 1 schools are schools with the highest percentage of youth receiving free or reduced lunches.
How does the STARBASE program benefit kids and the community?
Students who participate in the program have made an average gain of 20 percent on their math and science test scores. In addition, students have learned about values, character and good choices. The STARBASE program meets state standards for math and science curriculum and is designed to help augment what schools with limited resources are able to offer students. The goal of the program is to help youth overcome adversity and obtain jobs in the future. "STARBASE is so much fun," said one recent STARBASE graduate. "I think everyone should go. They make learning very fun. I like how they do that. Keep doing it."
The STARBASE program also includes a teacher education portion that helps give teachers good ideas and concepts to use in teaching math and science classes. "The STARBASE program is an extremely valuable program for classroom teachers," said Vicki Marcozzi, a teacher from Hageman Elementary who participated in the Kansas STARBASE program. "The lessons are structured to reach children of all learning styles. The hands-on activities reinforced the concepts taught in a meaningful way."
What kind of activities do the STARBASE academies include?
Some examples of activities included in STARBASE academies are:
- Oceans of Air: Pilots show how their planes soar through the air
- Forces of Flight-Instruments: Work with the cool gadgets that help pilots fly higher than they've ever gone before
- Heroes and adventurers don't do drugs
- Tours of Police and Survival Operations
- Global Coordinates: Navigators show you how to find any place in the world
- Radio, Radar & High-Tech Communications: Learn the lingo and talk to your friends no matter where they live
- Build Your Own Rocket!
- Flight Simulators: Learn to fly a plane the way many pilots do
- Tour a Jet or Helicopter: See the inside of a refueling tanker or a Black Hawk helicopter
- Visit a military fire station and set state-of-the-art fire engine operation
How do I get involved with STARBASE?
STARBASE needs volunteers to teach students various concepts including global coordinates, team patches, Newton's Three Laws of Motion, forces of flight, flight simulation and Lt. Eggbert. STARBASE also needs volunteers to help with the graduation ceremonies at the end of each academy.
To find out more about STARBASE or to get involved in the program, please contact your local STARBASE.
The mailing address for Kansas STARBASE is :
5920 SE Coyote Dr
Forbes Field ANG
Topeka, KS 66619-5370
Are there other STARBASE programs in the United States?
Yes, today there are more than 58 DoD STARBASE locations spanning 31 states including Puerto Rico.
To locate the STARBASE Academy near you click on this link: http://dodstarbase.org/starbase/locator
Will STARBASE ever be in my hometown?
In the past, Kansas STARBASE had test academies in Garden City, Great Bend, Pittsburg, Liberal, Hutchinson and Pratt. Kansas STARBASE plans to have additional test academies in the future. Based on the outcomes of those test academies, STARBASE hopes to expand to other Kansas communities, especially in the western part of the state.