Winchester STARBASE Academy back in action

Students from D. G. Cooley Elementary School attending the Winchester STARBASE Academy launch rockets Aug. 31, 2012, at the Virginia National Guard's Cherry-Beasely Readiness Center in Winchester. Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Wayne Wright, Deputy Adjutant General, Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Green, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Virginia Guard, and H. Griff Carmichael, principal of D. G. Cooley Elementary School, were on hand to observe the activity. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Students from D. G. Cooley Elementary School attending the Winchester STARBASE Academy launch rockets Aug. 31, 2012, at the Virginia National Guard’s Cherry-Beasely Readiness Center in Winchester. Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Wayne Wright, Deputy Adjutant General, Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Green, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Virginia Guard, and H. Griff Carmichael, principal of D. G. Cooley Elementary School, were on hand to observe the activity. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. — Students returned to the Virginia National Guard-sponsored Winchester STARBASE Academy Dec. 2, 2013, after a lapse in funding suspended operations since Sept. 30.

“It feels great to be back,” said Susan Corrigan, STARBASE program director. “We know we have a huge impact on the children of our region in developing an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The entire time we were shut down all I could think about was the number of children that were not getting the benefit of our program.”

Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration, or STARBASE, is a Department of Defense educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs where students participate in challenging activities in science, technology, engineering and math. Students are immersed in a unique classroom experience for five days where all activities are student-centered, hands-on, encourage higher order thinking and incorporate STEM applications in the real world.

“We are booked for the year,” Corrigan said. “We will have schools from Frederick County, Winchester City, Clarke County and some private schools.”

In addition to Corrigan, STARBASE had two additional staff members at the time of the funding lapse. Right now it is Corrigan and an information technology specialist who teaches the computer-aided design and robotics lesson. Corrigan holds a Virginia teaching license and will teach the majority of the lessons until an additional instructor is hired.

“We will be posting the instructor position today or tomorrow and hope to have a new person on staff to train during the time schools are off for winter break,” Corrigan said.

The lapse in funding came about as part of the ongoing budget issues in Washington, D.C. explained Brig. Gen. Wayne Wright, Deputy Adjutant General of the Virginia. Funding was secured to resume the program in December and guaranteed through the rest of Fiscal Year 2014.

Since January nearly 550 students have graduated from the five-day program, and more than 100 students have graduated this school year, Corrigan said.

In addition to the five-day program, STARBASE instructors visited local schools to provide individual lessons on particular topics and also held single-day academies for the schools that couldn’t fit the weeklong program into their schedule. Instructors also worked with home school groups, select high school groups and Boy Scouts earning their Engineering Merit Badge.

During the summer, STARBASE instructors taught lessons at the Virginia National Guard Youth Camp in Virginia Beach, hosted two separate weeks of Girls Middle School STEM Academy and acted four different times as guest instructors at the Discovery Museum, a local children’s science museum, Corrigan said.

For more information visit http://starbasewinchester.webs.com or https://www.facebook.com/starbasewinchester.

For more information visit http://starbasewinchester.webs.com or https://www.facebook.com/starbasewinchester.

Related posts: