STARBASE Edwards distributed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) kits to the Palmdale Aerospace Academy in Palmdale, Calif., Jan. 14. 2021.
STARBASE Edwards partnered with NASA and the Museum of Arts and History (MOAH-Lancaster) to create a total of eight lessons while the Lockheed Martin Corporation donated the grant to purchase supplies for 1,500 STEM kits to community youths in Title 1 schools in Palmdale and Lancaster.
“We are truly appreciative to all of our donors that have made a positive impact on our program and mission to provide STEM exposure to our youths,” said Amira Flores, STARBASE Edwards Director.
The kits are designed to expose school-aged children to STEM and the various possible careers in the field and within the Antelope Valley. The Antelope Valley is sometimes referred to as Aerospace Valley due to the role it has played in historic aviation firsts and technology breakthroughs.
“These STEM kits will provide students with hands-on STEM experience while participating in virtual STARBASE instructions,” said Auxi Grimes, STARBASE Edwards Teacher.
The ideation for the kits began in December 2020, following an “on wheels” instructional portion of STARBASE that ran from August until November. After a “stay at home order” was imposed on Californian residents due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, STARBASE Edwards partnered with Lockheed Martin to plan for the kits, Flores explained.
“At Lockheed Martin, we are committed to partnering with organizations like STARBASE to inspire students to study science, technology, engineering and math,” said Claudia Clark, Lockheed Martin Community Relations. “Local STEM outreach is one of the most impactful ways to make a real difference and give back in the communities where our employees live and work.”
STARBASE Edwards is a joint program between the Department of Defense, the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, local educators, non-profit organizations and industry partners. The goal of STARBASE is to increase children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Department of Defense’s STARBASE is a premier educational program sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. At DOD STARBASE, students participate in challenging “hands-on, mind-on” activities in STEM, according to the DOD. They interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the “real world.” The program provides students with 25 hours of stimulating experiences at National Guard, Navy, Marine, Air Force Reserve, Army and Air Force bases across the nation.
STARBASE focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore STEM as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically under-represented in STEM. Students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance or have a disability are in the target group. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.
For more information about the STARBASE Edwards or STEM-related lesson ideas for parents, please visit their social media pages: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/starbase.edwards.9 and Instagram: @starbase.edwards