JUNE 17, 2021 — The Department of Defense STARBASE program is returning to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola after an eight year absence. STARBASE Pensacola will be located at the National Flight Academy onboard the installation.
Currently, there are approximately 70 STARBASE programs nationally and Pensacola will be the third program in Florida. The launch of the program at “The Cradle of Naval Aviation” will allow 5th grade students from Title 1 schools in the local communities to have a place to learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related topics starting in January 2022.
Title 1 is the largest federally funded educational program. The program provides supplemental funds to school districts to assist schools with large concentrations of low income students to help meet their educational goals.
Working closely with Escambia County School District, students from Title 1 public schools will expend spend 25 hours of STEM education, broken into five full days, at STARBASE Pensacola. The program will engage students with “hands-on, minds-on” experiential activities. The STARBASE Pensacola Director and Instructors will work with the local school districts to develop a customized curriculum from a large offering of peer-reviewed learning opportunities in each STEM area, such as Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s principle, robotics, coding, rocketry and 3D printing. Students will also be introduced to Computer Aided Design (CAD) to design space stations, all-terrain vehicles, and submersibles.
Math will be embedded throughout the curriculum and students will use metric measurement, estimation, calculation geometry, and data analysis to solve questions. Teamwork will be stressed as students work together to explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate concepts. Since NAS Pensacola is known as “The Cradle of Naval Aviation,” the STARBASE Pensacola curriculum will include aviation-themed learning to include flight simulation.
“STARBASE Pensacola is about showing children the art of the possible,” said Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer, NAS Pensacola. “Students will get to spend five days learning in a state-of-the-art facility and will get the opportunity to see a future in a STEM related career. It is my hope that STARBASE Pensacola will inspire students to unlock their potential, and see that they can be more than they thought possible. This is a wonderful opportunity for NAS Pensacola to give back to the communities that have supported us for so many years.”
Additional programs will also be available at STARBASE Pensacola for students not at Title 1 schools outside of the traditional school schedule. This will include programs throughout the summer.
Additional information will be available as the program develops throughout this year. The first students are expected to arrive at STARBASE Pensacola in 2022.
The DoD’s STARBASE is an educational program sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Visit www.dodstarbase.org for more information.
Story by Jason Bortz
Naval Air Station Pensacola