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News | Nov. 14, 2023

Granite State STARBASE program lifts off with NH National Guard

By NHNG Public Affairs

The New Hampshire National Guard held a ribbon cutting for STARBASE New Hampshire, a Department of Defense education program for fifth graders, Nov. 13 at the Edward Cross Training Complex in Pembroke.

Coinciding with the ceremony, students from Dunbarton Elementary School began the inaugural session of STARBASE, which stands for Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration.

“Our goal is to motivate New Hampshire students to explore STEM opportunities as they continue their education,” said Mark Campbell, director of STARBASE New Hampshire. “We have two, trained educators who will teach the lessons. We will work with school districts to ensure we are supporting their standards and learning objectives.”

The only cost to the school districts is transportation to and from the classroom at the ECTC. STARBASE covers all other expenses, including materials.

First started in Detroit in 1991, STARBASE is being conducted in more than 40 states. Lessons can include robotics, rocketry, engineering, physics, FIRST LEGO League, solar cars, chemistry, technology, and aerospace.

The academies serve students who are historically underrepresented in STEM. They are hosted at National Guard, Army, Air Force and Marine bases across the country.

“I’m hopeful this experience will excite students to learn more about STEM opportunities as a future career and be a catalyst for them to become future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technology specialists, “ Campbell said. “I’m also hopeful that teachers who visit our classroom will be inspired to do more STEM activities back at their schools.”

Each session offers students 25 hours of STEM-based learning spread over five days. Franklin School District will comprise the second group of fifth graders. Their session begins Nov. 16. Manchester School District has signed up for January of 2024.