STARBASE 2.0 Mission
STARBASE 2.0 is a middle school mentoring program that is an extension of the Department of Defense STARBASE program. The purpose of STARBASE 2.0 is to combine STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a relationship-rich, school-based environment to provide the missing link for at-risk youth making the transition from elementary to middle and on to high school. It extends the positive impact of DoD STARBASE through a S.T.E.M. mentoring approach which solidifies students’ attachment to and engagement with school.
How STARBASE 2.0 Works
STARBASE 2.0 targets sixth to eighth graders. Club meetings will take place afterschool at schools selected by each STARBASE programs. Every meeting will be spearheaded by a lead STEM mentor. Clubs meet a minimum of four hours per month at regularly scheduled times. These groups consist of one STEM mentor and 3-4 students working together.
Research has found that afterschool programs provide safe environments and support school goals. In addition, benefits of school-based afterschool programs are
1. They are highly structured.
2. They empower schools.
3. They appeal to non-traditional mentors (e.g. those with busy schedules).
STARBASE offers a positive, proven approach to engendering excitement and interest towards math, science and technology skills. These skills are important to our nation's future because:
- During this decade, employment in science and engineering occupations is expected to increase at almost four times the rate for all occupation. In a comparison of 15 year olds in 27 countries, United States youth ranked 18th in math and 14th in science.
- The rapid pace of technological change, and globalization of the economy, simply demands that our workforce be literate in science and math. Less than 1% of current elementary school students will seek advanced education in the sciences. When compared with the performance of students from other countries around the world, the performance of U.S. fourth graders in TIMSS math and science was lower in 2003 than in 1995.
- An over-reliance on the math and science talent of foreign students represents a major potential weakness in the future competitiveness and vitality of the U.S. economy and workforce. (Keeping America Competitive, Education Commission of the States)
- Students who attend DoD STARBASE Academies increase their knowledge and skills in math and science.
- Students who attend DoD STARBASE improve their attitudes about and their confidence in math and science.
STEM mentors are corporate professionals, college or graduate students, and/or teachers who work in the area of science, technology, engineering, or math. The purpose of the STEM mentor is to help increase middle school students knowledge, skills, and interest in STEM areas and to build relationships that support student self-efficiency.
The unique combination of activities for students outlines here align with the following intended outcomes of the program:
- To increase STEM interest and knowledge
- To reduce high-risk behavior
- To increase engagement with school
- To increase awareness of jobs in STEM fields