Program Description

At STARBASE we imagine students as future scientists and engineers. Then we develop an experience so they will too.

The STARBASE experience puts STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in students’ hands. Then lets them use it.  

Engaging activities are standard in every STARBASE program. Fun experiences rooted in science, technology, engineering and math launch student energy and focus on a path toward bright futures. 

DoD STARBASE focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore STEM as they continue their education. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.

KCK students experimentStudents put concepts into action, with hands-on experiments.The STARBASE 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 stations, all-terrain vehicles and submersibles. 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.

The academies work with school districts to support their standards of learning objectives. A teacher whose class attended DoD STARBASE stated, "STARBASE teaches science and math in ways that we wish we had the time, resources and expertise to do in the regular classroom.  It's experiential, exploratory learning with a direct tie to the standards.” 

The Kansas STARBASE program is located in five different cities throughout the state including: Wichita, Topeka, Salina, Kansas City and Manhattan. For the past several years, Kansas STARBASE has partnered with western Kansas community colleges, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University and the Kansas Cosmosphere to provide summer academies in Pittsburg, Great Bend, Liberal, Garden City, Hays, Colby, Hutchinson and Pratt.


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

“This has been an amazing experience for myself as well as for my daughter. I fully support this program to continue for future students. Thank you to all the instructors.” —C. Hicks, Parent Volunteer, Bluestem-Leon Elementary