Where it all started...
The DoD STARBASE Program first originated in Detroit, Michigan as Project STARS in 1991. The curriculum, designed by Barbara Koscak and Rick Simms, focused on exposing at-risk youth, (4-6 grade) to innovative hands-on activities in science, technology and mathematics based on the physics of flight. Under the guidance of Brig. Gen. David Arendts, 127th wing commander at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, students were invited to Selfridge to participate and witness the application of scientific concepts in a “real world” setting. National Guard personnel demonstrated the use of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in their fields of expertise and served as role models to the attending students.
In FY 1993, the U.S. Congress appropriated funds for DoD STARBASE and piloted the program in seven states. There are locations spread across the United States and its territories. To accommodate the growing demand for additional STEM programs, a structured after school mentoring program, STARBASE 2.0, for middle school students was piloted in 2010 at five locations. The program’s success relies on collaboration between the sponsoring military unit and STARBASE Academy, the school district, and local communities. The goal is for each STARBASE Academy to sponsor a 2.0 program.
STARBASE Goodfellow began back in August 2016, when the idea of Goodfellow AFB sponsoring a STARBASE program was introduced. Like many projects, it took a while to get the program introduced to other community organizations that would benefit from the program and to make sure there was community support. After months of discussion a proposal was sent to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to gain permission and funding to develop STARBASE Goodfellow. In June 2017, representatives from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense visited Goodfellow AFB to check out the facilities that would hopefully become the STARBASE building and meet with base and community leaders. In August 2017, the 17 TRW at Goodfellow AFB and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts signed a Memorandum of Agreement to host and manage the STARBASE Goodfellow program. STARBASE Goodfellow staff was interviewed in late August and began their first day on September 1, 2017. STARBASE Goodfellow was able to hold its first class the week of September 25-29, 2017 and graduated 21 students for FY 2017. Following this first class, STARBASE Goodfellow has now graduated 902 students from 13 different San Angelo Independent School District schools and three Private schools. In the coming days, students from three more local Private Schools and 4 more SAISD schools will also graduate from the STARBASE program. Next year, STARBASE Goodfellow will be adding TLCA and hopefully some other surrounding schools to our program.