About

Why STARBASE is Vital:

DoD STARBASE offers a positive, proven approach to engendering excitement and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). This knowledge is important to our nation's future because:robotics 2Students learn about robotics first hand by building their own robots.

  • During this decade, employment in science and engineering occupations is expected to increase at almost four times the rate for all occupations.
  • The 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reported that the average score in the United States on mathematics literacy was 17th among 33 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The average score in science literacy was behind 11 other OECD countries.
  • In the United States less than 10% of graduate degrees are conferred in engineering, mathematics and computer science. This places our country 20th internationally in terms of graduate degrees in these critical areas.
  • The rapid pace of technological change and globalization of the economy simply demands that our workforce be literate in science and math.
  • Less than 1% of current elementary school students will seek advanced education in the sciences.
  • An over-reliance on the math and science talent of foreign students represents a major potential weakness in the future competitiveness and vitality of the U.S. economy and workforce.

Since its inception in 1992, Kansas STARBASE has worked with over 66,000 students to increase their knowledge and create an interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math. Along with the academic focus, the STARBASE program is instilling a sense of pride and personal accomplishment in those students who have attended an academy. It is those traits by which STARBASE will increase the number of students going into science, technology, engineering and math areas once they have completed their secondary education. In other words, STARBASE is increasing the pool of highly motivated, technically minded employees and citizens.

STARBASE Profiles

Major General Lee Tafanelli

The relationship between the Kansas National Guard and DoD STARBASE is a remarkable one. We are proud to help DoD STARBASE provide hours of hands-on learning for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to apply science, technology, engineering and math concepts, or STEM to daily life. More than 200 school districts from 53 counties have participated in the Kansas DoD STARBASE program since 1993. With this amazing youth program, we have reached more than 60,000 students in Kansas.

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What They're Saying

“It was scientific and fun. My favorite things were the straw rockets and LEGO robots.” —M. Blankenship, Student, Central Elementary