The US Department of Defense’s STARBASE program exposes the nation’s at-risk youth to the technological environments and positive civilian and military role models found on Active, Guard, and Reserve military bases and installations. The program provides 25 hours of exemplary hands-on instruction and activities that meet or exceed national standards. DoD STARBASE focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. It serves students who are historically underrepresented in STEM: students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, low in academic performance, or have a disability are in the target group. The program engages students through the inquiry-based curriculum with its “hands-on, mind-on” experiential activities. For example, students study Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s principle and explore nanotechnology, navigation, and mapping. They use a computer to design space stations, all-terrain vehicles, and submersibles. Math is embedded throughout the curriculum, and students use metric measurement, estimation, calculation geometry, and data analysis to solve problems. Teamwork is stressed as students work together to explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate concepts. The military volunteers apply abstract principles to real-world situations by leading tours and giving lectures on the use of STEM in different settings and careers. Students may discuss how chemical fires are extinguished, learn how the injured are transported, or explore the cockpit of an F-18 or the interior of a submarine. DoD STARBASE works with school districts to support their standards of learning objectives.
Researchers in the BIO5 Institute at The University of Arizona worked with teachers to develop activities that allow high school students to learn about the use of computational analysis for biological questions.
Through innovative and experiential education programs for K–12 students from under-resourced communities, Learning Undefeated sparks interest in STEM careers, building the workforce that will drive the innovation economy and bridging school, community, health, and business.
Students can take a 360-degree virtual tour of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at California Institute of Technology. Through the virtual tour, students can explore key areas of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.