LSUA and the US Department of Defense establish STEAM Program STARBASE at Fort Polk
The following has been provided by LSUA:
LSUA Chancellor Paul Coreil and Col. Sam Smith, Garrison Commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, have signed an MOU to establish an LSUA branch of STARBASE at Fort Polk.
DoD STARBASE is a premier educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. At DoD STARBASE students participate in challenging “hands-on, minds-on” activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). They interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the “real world.” The program provides students with 25 hours of stimulating experiences at the National Guard, Marine, Air Force Reserve, Army, and Air Force bases across the nation.
“To make an impact on a child’s education is such a rewarding experience, and to have that opportunity through STARBASE is exhilarating,” said Becca Foltz, LSUA’s Director of STARBASE. “This partnership is committed to providing ‘hands-on, minds-on’ activities, and we are passionate about engaging and challenging our future leaders. This program allows us to leave a positive and indelible mark on students. Exciting things are in the works at LSUA STARBASE Polk Warrior. We cannot wait to open our doors and welcome the next generation.”
The goal of DoD STARBASE is to motivate students to explore STEAM opportunities as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically underrepresented in STEAM. Students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance, or have a disability are in the target group. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.
Col. Sam Smith, Garrison Commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, explained:
STARBASE serves as an extension of the classroom. Students will work on Louisiana state content standards but in a much different way. Students have access to the latest technologies, such as CAD software and state-of-the-art 3D printers, as they collaborate, inquire, create, and build while trying to solve real-world problems. It is a program geared to foster an inquisitive mind.
“Through STARBASE, LSUA is honored to partner with JRTC and Fort Polk in the implementation of innovative STEAM educational initiatives and opportunities, in cooperation with CENLA school systems, that will directly touch students from military families and many other families across the region,” said Paul Coreil, LSUA Chancellor. “We are extremely excited to be part of such a dynamic and effective STEAM educational partnership and look forward to seeing many positive impacts that will result in improved educational achievement and improved quality of life for JRTC/Fort Polk and for our entire central Louisiana region.”
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