MPS students experience hands-on learning through Starbase program
MILWAUKEE — The doors are open at a new school in Milwaukee that will serve as an outreach program. The school is called Starbase, and is funded by the Department of Defense to focus on science, technology, engineering and math.
“There are 70 of these programs around the country, and this program is new to Wisconsin. We just took our first group of students in April,” Starbase Director Dr. Charisse Sekyi said.
“There are going to be some young men and women who walk out of here with a spark that gets lit. They’re going to walk back to their communities and they’re going to talk to their other fifth-grade buddies about physics and Newton’s Laws and that’s exciting to me,” Major General Donald Dunbar with the Wisconsin National Guard said.
The school is located on the grounds of the Army Reserve Center. All of the lessons are taught through hands-on activities that correlate to the curriculum they’re studying in the classroom.
“They have to apply the science to an actual engaged activity, and that’s what helps with the learning,” Milwaukee Public Schools Curriculum Specialist Mary Staten said.
All of the students that go through Starbase are fifth-graders attending a Milwaukee school. The students are taken out of the classroom and taken to Starbase once a week for five weeks.
“If we start in fifth-grade enticing kids, exciting kids about the STEM fields then all of a sudden we are starting to work toward producing our workforce of the future,” Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch said.
The program will serve 1,500 students each year.
Nationally, the Starbase program has served more than 700,000 students since its inception 20 years ago.
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