It 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.
The STARBASE program provides 25 hours of hands on learning for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to help apply STEM concepts to daily life. They address state standards for math and science curriculum, and teach lessons and activities that are structured to reach children of all learning styles. More than 200 school districts from 53 counties have participated in the Kansas STARBASE program since 1993 with locations in Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, Salina, and Manhattan. Since its' existence, this incredible youth program has reached over 60,000 students in the state of Kansas.
In addition to the science and math curriculum covered in the STARBASE classrooms, the program provides the opportunity for students to be exposed to positive role models found on our military bases and installations. STARBASE students in the state of Kansas are able to tour a KC-135 Refueling Jet, UH-60 Blackhawk, HET Vehicles, and fire departments at their respective sites. The National Guard is a valuable resource for sparking interest in STEM related fields. The military volunteers teach students about the importance of their jobs, not only on base, but in the community as well.
It has been a great mission of mine to ensure that all of the elementary schools in Senate District 36 attend a STARBASE academy, and how exciting it has been to see how the program has developed throughout the years. The Senate District I represent in north central Kansas is predominately rural. It is so important that those rural students are offered similar opportunities as those who reside in a large metropolitan area. It was my distinct honor to have successfully introduced Senate Resolution 1769 in the Kansas Senate that recognized the STARBASE program and its success not only in my district but throughout the state of Kansas.
The DoD STARBASE program is always ready to introduce new and improved technology to the children attending, which is critical for the schools that are unable to provide these opportunities. STARBASE students experience what it is like to be an engineer while designing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle on a Computer Aided Design program. I have been lucky enough to experience these amazing activities with my own kids that have attended STARBASE.
I am proud to have served on the Kansas STARBASE Foundation Board as the program has had a significant impact on Kansas students, and I hope to see its' continued success in the future.
State Senator Elaine Bowers
Kansas Senate District 36 State of Kansas