On Wednesday, the Arkansas River Education Service invited southeastern Arkansas School district superintendents for a presentation on a new educational program for elementary, middle school, and also high school students geared towards STEM and engaging with military personnel. The intention for Starbase is to introduce students to a variety of careers and also the various branches of the military service. Classes will be held at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, with a minimum of 20 students to 30 students max. The classes will be held 5 days a week, providing a science and math curriculum through 25 hours of science, technology, engineering, and math. 3 hours of CAD training will be held in a computer lab on site. Two adults from Starbase will be in the classroom, and also one district teacher will serve as “navigators” to monitor behavior, and also assist with bringing positive, radiant energy in support of students from their respective school district. DOD Starbase is a “hands on” application which started in 1993. Last October is when the first class launched in Arkansas.
DoD Starbase is looking to launch the 1st joint branch Starbase in the state of Arkansas, in hopes to enhance the future workforce in STEM.
For the 1st phase, Starbase will begin with 5th graders for year 1, but will not be limited to just 5th graders when year 1 ends:
4 Classrooms, and a Computer Lab will be in operation under Starbase at the Pine Bluff arsenal. Alpha Classroom: Science and Math, Bravo Classroom represents Engineering, Charlie Classroom represents Space, and Zulu Computer Lab will be the space on site to provide CAD (Computer Aided Design) training. DoD Starbase strives to have students immersed before they enter the classroom. LED lights, class photos of classmates who have attended Starbase, challenge boards, STEM represented through graffiti and other artistic expressions will be on display for students to gain inspiration and exposure to careers, and various aspects of STEM.
The White Hall School District Superintendent Gary Williams, Assistant Superintendent Debbie Jones, and fifth-grade science teacher Andi Lunsford gained insight about Starbase during a visit to the Arsenal prior to the Wednesday informational.
WH Assistant Superintendent spoke with Deltaplex News about the potential impact the program will have on students:
DOD Starbase program director Robert Baker spoke with Deltaplex News on the reviews Starbase has received from students:
Starbase will focus on Title I schools first and will later expand it’s program. Letters of recommendation will be required, from school districts or other public officials for the application process. Once properly funded, school districts will be asked to provide 20 to 30 students to fill each class once per week for 25 total hours of STEM curriculum: