TOPEKA (KSNT) – The 501 Schools McEachron fifth graders spent the last five weeks learning about science, technology, engineering and math in the Kansas Starbase Program.

“Starbase is a national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program,” said Brent Mumford, Director of the Starbase Program in Topeka. “We are part of the Dept. of Defense National STEM program. There are five Starbases in Kansas: Topeka, Kansas City, Wichita, Manhattan and Salina. We are affiliated with the Kansas National Guard and the Adjutant General and we provide STEM education to fifth graders.”

The Starbase program focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as they continue their education. Starbase serves students who are historically under-represented in STEM.
Starbase is a 5-day program designed to deliver STEM specific curriculum that meets state and national standards. The program is offered at no-cost to the participating schools.

The Starbase (Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration) program began in 1991 in Michigan. The program is designed to ignite the interest of at-risk youth in science, math, technology, goal setting and positive life choices by exposing them to the technological environments and positive role models of the National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Naval bases.

In 1992, the Kansas Air and Army National Guard launched Kansas Starbase. Kansas Starbase is an authorized program of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Starbase has worked with nearly 41,000 Kansas children improving their interest in the areas of math, science or technology. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students going into the math, science and technology areas.

The Kansas Starbase program is the largest in the U.S. They also receive funding from many Kansas companies and foundations to help supplement the federal support.

Students in the Starbase program learn:

  • Newton’s Laws of Motion 
  • Rocket Science 
  • The Four Forces of Flight 
  • Review/Flight Logs 
  • Radio & Radar Polar Coordinates 
  • Tour a Black Hawk/Night Vision/Life Survival 
  • Tour the K-State Aviation Building 
  • Intro to Flight Instruments Flight Simulator
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Flight Simulator

The Topeka Starbase Program is supported by the Kansas National Guard at Forbes Field in South Topeka.