SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --
Students from several school districts put their scientific creativity to work as they embarked on a five-day, math and science program known as the Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration, or STARBASE. The program, now in its 27th year, is conducted for 53 soon-to-be fifth graders and allows them to perform science experiments, build and launch model rockets and tour the base facilities.
Charles Kimble, 4th Force Support Squadron force development flight chief, started his first year with STARBASE this year as the installation representative, helping ensure a flawless week.
“This program allows for students to become hands-on in creating and experimenting,” said Kimble. “They are able to create a rocket of their own, throughout the five days become more knowledgeable of the mechanics, and on the final graduation day, put their creations to use. Also, they were able to see the teamwork that was needed to complete a task at hand.”
The students were able to become more familiar with the base and the Airmen who run it. From touring the F-15E Strike Eagle and the KC-135C Stratotanker, to receiving demonstrations from military working dogs, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and the engine hush house, the students were able to get a full-on Seymour Johnson experience.
When they weren’t learning about the base, the children were back at school building model rockets, studying Bernoulli’s principles of flight and Newton’s laws of motions as well as making paper airplanes and performing science experiments.
Addison Hieronymus, a STARBASE student, was very thrilled to have participated in the week’s events.
“It was so cool to build my own rocket,” said Hieronymus. “I also liked to see the pilots and the dogs on base.”
Maj. Ryan Geoffroy, 4th Fighter Wing plans and programs chief, who acted as the STARBASE commander for 2018,believes the program can encourage the children to apply their new knowledge in real-life situations and to pursue outside focuses beyond the classroom.
“It’s very fulfilling to be able to watch the kids experience the different aspects of the base and see the importance of each individual section and their role in accomplishing the mission,” said Geoffroy. “Also, I hope the students learned how important teamwork is and will be for their future endeavors. I can’t wait for my child to experience a program like this when the time comes.”