STARBASE NELLIS holds first academy of 2016

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jessica D'Ambrosio
  • 926th Wing public affairs
The STARBASE NELLIS academy held its first class of 2016 here on Jan. 8. Students from Neal Elementary began their five-week course with a lesson in engineering.

"We've been coming for three years and we hope to keep coming back," said Angela Cruzate, Neal ES teacher. "We find that the students are more interested in science and that their science Criterion-Referenced Test scores increase after attending the academy."

STARBASE NELLIS is Nevada's first STARBASE academy. The program is postured to instruct up to 1,300 students from the Las Vegas valley annually in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STARBASE Nellis began in April 2012 under the stewardship of the 926th Wing.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense program developed to raise the interest and improve the knowledge of at-risk youth in the STEM areas, leading to a skilled American workforce that can meet the advanced technological requirements of the nation.

STARBASE provides 25 hours of instruction using a common core curriculum in line with national standards. Students participate in activities studying Newton's Laws and Bernoulli's principle; exploring nanotechnology, navigation and mapping; using computer software to design space stations, all-terrain vehicles and submersibles; and using metric measurement, estimation, calculation geometry and data analysis to solve equations. Additionally, the students interact with military personnel to observe STEM applications and explore career choices.

"The kids love the hands-on program," Cruzate said. "It helps them become more engaged with the material."