What is the Kansas STARBASE program?

It is a youth science, technology, economics and mathematics program of the United States Department of Defense. Kansas STARBASE is one of the largest National Guard STARBASE programs in the nation, with more than 300 volunteers from the Kansas Air and Army National Guards donating their time and talent to the program. As part of the program, military pilots, mechanics, security officers and other uniquely-trained military personnel lead five-day academies to teach Kansas children in grades 4 through 6 practical, job-earning skills. The program uses hands-on, active, fun learning projects to apply math and science concepts to daily life. Kansas STARBASE, Inc., a non-profit corporation, operates the STARBASE program on behalf of the Kansas National Guard.

Why is the National Guard involved in the STARBASE program?

"The STARBASE program fulfills one of the Kansas Air and Army National Guard's important missions-community service," said Major General Tod Bunting, Adjutant General of Kansas. He also stated "Military volunteers in the STARBASE program help students apply the principles of math, science, technology and personal growth to their daily lives. Most importantly, STARBASE provides us with an opportunity to be a positive role model and instill the value of characer in the youth participating in the program."

Where are the Kansas STARBASE locations?

Wichita, Topeka, Salina, Kansas City and Manhattan. Click on a city for address and contact information.

How is STARBASE funded?

The STARBASE program is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Individuals and foundations as well as civic and service groups also support STARBASE through financial and volunteer contributions. STARBASE receives no state funding.

Back to Top

Where do youth in the STARBASE program come from?

More than 200 school districts from 53 counties have participated in the program since its inception. Students from Title 1 schools are given priority enrollment from September through May and weeklong academies are open to 4th through 6th grade students from the general public during the summer. Title 1 schools are schools with the highest percentage of youth receiving free or reduced lunches.

Back to top

How does the STARBASE program benefit kids and the community?

Students who participate in the program have made an average gain of 20 percent on their math and science test scores. In addition, students have learned about values, character and good choices. The STARBASE program meets state standards for math and science curriculum and is designed to help augment what schools with limited resources are able to offer students. The goal of the program is to help youth overcome adversity and obtain jobs in the future. "STARBASE is so much fun," said one recent STARBASE graduate. "I think everyone should go. They make learning very fun. I like how they do that. Keep doing it."

The STARBASE program also includes a teacher education portion that helps give teachers good ideas and concepts to use in teaching math and science classes. "The STARBASE program is an extremely valuable program for classroom teachers," said Vicki Marcozzi, a teacher from Hageman Elementary who participated in the Kansas STARBASE program. "The lessons are structured to reach children of all learning styles. The hands-on activities reinforced the concepts taught in a meaningful way."

Back to top

What kind of activities do the STARBASE academies include?

Some examples of activities included in STARBASE academies are:

  • Oceans of Air: Pilots show how their planes soar through the air 
  • Forces of Flight-Instruments: Work with the cool gadgets that help pilots fly higher than they've ever gone before 
  • Heroes and adventurers don't do drugs 
  • Tours of Police and Survival Operations 
  • Global Coordinates: Navigators show you how to find any place in the world 
  • Radio, Radar & High-Tech Communications: Learn the lingo and talk to your friends no matter where they live 
  • Build Your Own Rocket! 
  • Flight Simulators: Learn to fly a plane the way many pilots do
  • Tour a Jet or Helicopter: See the inside of a refueling tanker or a Black Hawk helicopter
  • Visit the Jet Engine Shop and a state-of-the-art fire engine operation

Back to top

How do I get involved with STARBASE?

STARBASE needs volunteers to teach students various concepts including global coordinates, team patches, Newton's Three Laws of Motion, forces of flight, flight simulation and Lt. Eggbert. STARBASE also needs volunteers to help with the graduation ceremonies at the end of each academy. 

To find out more about STARBASE or to get involved in the program, please call the Kansas STARBASE headquarters at 785-861-4709.

The mailing address for Kansas STARBASE headquarters is :

5920 SE Coyote Dr
Forbes Field ANG
Topeka, KS 66619-5370

Back to top 

Are there other STARBASE programs in the United States?

Yes, today there are more than 58 DoD STARBASE locations spanning 31 states including Puerto Rico. 

To locate the STARBASE Academy near you click on this link: http://dodstarbase.org/starbase/locator

Back to top

Will STARBASE ever be in my hometown?

In the past, Kansas STARBASE had test academies in Garden City, Great Bend, Pittsburg, Liberal, Hutchinson and Pratt. Kansas STARBASE plans to have additional test academies in the future. Based on the outcomes of those test academies, STARBASE hopes to expand to other Kansas communities, especially in the western part of the state.

Back to top




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.

Read more ...

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)