Kansas Starbase News

Salina Students Meet NASA Personnel

STARBASE students to meet NASA personnel via VTC

Students of the Salina STARBASE Summer Academy will have a pretty exciting opportunity next week - the chance to talk with scientists and other personnel from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The meeting will take place July 25-27 via video-teleconference (VTC) sessions in Eckert Hall at the Kansas Army National Guard's Kansas Regional Training Institute, where the STARBASE Academy holds its sessions. Videoconferencing is two-way communication that allows individuals at two or more sites to see and hear one another. Videoconferencing enhances formal and informal instruction by connecting students to professionals in the real world with expertise in numerous subjects or fields.

"The neat thing about this is the benefit the students get from actually being able to see and hear a real astronaut," said Jeff Gabriel, executive director of Kansas STARBASE.

"Rarely do kids get the opportunity to do something like this. It adds some extra excitement to the whole STARBASE experience."

Gabriel said the students will have the opportunity to ask questions of the NASA personnel and watch as they perform science demonstrations.

On Monday, STARBASE students will be learning about "The Moon." The Moon videoconference provides participants with the opportunity to discuss the outcomes of the Apollo program and the processes that created the craters and other surface features we see when we view the Moon.

On Tuesday STARBASE students will be learning about "Space and the Solar System." The event begins in our cosmic back yard, then gradually expands outward to include the solar system, the galaxy, and deep space. Images from NASA missions enhance the videoconferencing presentation. The event relies on the participation of students through comments and questions.

On Wednesday STARBASE students will be learning about "Exploration Earth, Moon, Mars and Beyond." Some of the activities of the videoconferencing include a "Mars Bingo" game and building a Mars lander.

STARBASE (Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration), a National Guard program, is a unique opportunity for students completing 4th, 5th or 6th grade. Academies take STARBASE students through activities where they investigate the Laws of Motion, discover the Properties of Air and explore the Forces of Flight. Students also meet and interact with pilots, navigators, computer technicians, civil engineers and other highly trained professionals.

July 22, 2005


State Senator Elaine Bowers

Senator Elaine Bowers on Kansas STARBASEIt has been a great privilege of mine to be involved with DoD STARBASE for the past six years. Being a member of the Kansas STARBASE Foundation Board has given me the opportunity to help spread the word on how important it is to have these STEM programs available to our local youth. The U.S. Department of Defense and Kansas National Guard has formed a great relationship with STARBASE, and with their help, they are able to raise students' interest in skills related to science, technology, engineering, and math.

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What They're Saying

“This program has been great for my students. The hands-on activities use equipment that our school doesn't have and so coming to STARBASE has been super beneficial for the students (and for me). The activities introduced a lot of concepts that we will cover this year, giving my students a head-start.” —E. Shaffer, Teacher, Flint Hills Christian School (Manhattan)