Starbase inspires youth to reach for stars
By Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel
| Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | April 21, 2014
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Fifth-grade students from Bridges Preparatory School in Port Royal spent a week aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort participating in the Star-base program, Apr. 6-11.
Starbase is a Department of Defense program implemented to expose youth to the technological environments found throughout military bases and installations. Starbase incorporates concepts used in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, while introducing new tools, technologies and experimental applications in the school’s curriculum.
Students were taught how to use a three dimensional printer, advanced engineering computer programs, and more. They also conducted experiments involving physics, chemistry and engineering, such as testing and comparing how different chemicals react with water.
“Allowing the children to learn hands-on really helps them think outside of the box, and see how what they learn in their own classrooms is applied in real life,” said Savanah French, the lead instructor for Starbase. “This curriculum gets the students outside of their classroom and in a different and fun environment to learn. It also encourages them to be motivated and more proactive learners.”
The DoD Starbase curriculum includes 3.5 hours in physics, 3.5 hours in chemistry, 4 hours in technology, 4 hours in engineering, 2 hours in mathematics operations and applications, and 1.5 hours in STEM careers.
The course curriculum also extends from the classroom to squadrons where students are able to meet pilots, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Marines or service members in other professions. This allows the students to see how STEM affects the daily lives of Marines in various occupations.
“This is a great experience,” said Ty Farley, a fifth-grade student at Bridges Preparatory School. “It has opened my eyes to so many different jobs, and gave me tools I can take away and use for the rest of my life.”
A graduation ceremony is held at the end of the weeklong class to recognize the students for their accomplishments while aboard the Air Station.
For more information about the DoD Starbase visit www.dodstarbase.org. To schedule a visit, call 524-1320.