PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Fifteen Schriever School Age Care program youth attended the StarBase Academy at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, for enhanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities July 18-22.
StarBase, a Department of Defense funded youth program, teaches children about STEM concepts through “hands-on, mind-on” activities.
“They all liked the hands-on activities,” said Regina Lee, SAC program assistant. “There was just a positive response to all the activities.”
Youth were instructed on abstract principles such as Newton’s Laws, Bernoulli’s Principle and how GPS works through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on activities.
“We have a 25-hour curriculum (for the school year) focusing on physics, technology, engineering and math,” said Carol Rieping, StarBase instructor. “For the summer we have three hour days.”
Youth began the week applying Newton’s Laws by creating straw rockets, crash testing model cars and launching trebuchets (devices similar in design and function to catapults).
“The model cars were similar to what we did with the ‘Motion Commotion’ activity,” Lee said. “Not only did they learn about motion, but also seat belt safety.”
By mid-week youth were learning about buoyancy, optics and molecular modeling.
“We focused this week on physics, with a little chemistry and (computer) programming,” Rieping said. “We do a different activity each day.”
They spent some time Thursday touring the Air and Space Museum before hearing a presentation about GPS. The week culminated Friday with a brief demonstration about computer programming, a discussion about Bernoulli’s Principle which led to activities demonstrating the power of air pressure, before a final activity where students had to find ways to secure an egg during a mid-flight crash.
“‘Eggbert’ is always the highlight of the week,” Rieping said.
When examining the egg following the crash, students are told there are different levels of damage that can occur.
“I just hope I don’t get scrambled or brain damaged,” said Antwaan Hines while securing his egg.
Lee said bringing SAC youth to places like StarBase helps SAC get more in-depth with activities.
“They get to go into more detail and have more time to focus on each topic,” she said.
According to dodstarbase.org, Congress first appropriated funds for the program in fiscal 1993 and piloted the program in seven states. StarBase Academies are now available in 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The StarBase Academy at Peterson opened in January 2015 and holds 56 classes per year.
“We are the only StarBase in Colorado,” Rieping said. “We have classes from District 11, District 49 and District 2 come during the school year.”
For more information about StarBase, visit www.dodstarbase.org.
For more information about SAC, contact 567-4742.