Starbase-Funded by the Department of Defense as a Civilian Military Program ... for At -Risk School ChildrenSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Starbase-Funded by the Department of Defense as a Civilian Military Program ... for At -Risk School Children

17 December 2006 at 10:32:05 PM

Got an email today about Starbase, which ostensibly is a program to help kids learn math and science. Except that kids are bussed to military bases to attend and it's five days. Except that, although it's touted as *free*, we the US taxpayers actually fund it as a Department of Defense budget piece. And except that it has other aims than merely helping train youth.

Starbase has particular young un's as targets.

DoD focuses the program on those students who are most in need of the program's ability to upgrade their skills in math and science. Particular emphasis is placed on the 5th grade and on those classes that have students who are:

  • Historically under-represented in math, science, and technology
  • Living in inner cities or rural locations
  • Disabled
  • Socio-economically disadvantaged
  • Low in academic performance

The entire class attends the program from the participant schools and children are transported to the military base for four or five days of STARBASE instruction.

One might even say that this is a program ACTUALLY designed to acclimate children to military careers.

Military facilities provide the perfect resources and setting for stimulating activities and unprecedented perspectives of real-world applications of math, science, and technology. At STARBASE, students have the chance to learn to fly a plane on a flight simulator, build and launch rockets, see the inside of an air refueling tanker or a submarine, visit the jet engine shops or air museums, and talk to pilots and other military personnel who willingly share their adventures and expertise with the children.

Again, the locations are military bases or installations.

The 2005 annual report, on page 12 says ® is authorized under Section 2193b, Title 10 United States Code. The requirements for its implementation are contained in Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 1025.7. The goal of the DOD STARBASE program is to raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of at-risk youth in math, science, and technology by exposing them to the technological environment and positive role models found on military bases and installations. The program is unique in that it provides students with a "hands-on" approach to learning with the guidance of trained teachers and experienced military personnel.


From page 13

The Military Installation
DOD STARBASE programs are housed and supported by the military.4 From the initial installation to full operation, the base commander’s sponsorship and ongoing participation are essential. It is through the commander that access to the resources and services of the base are obtained. Classroom space, utilities, and security are the primary services provided by the base. Computer accessibility, administrative support, and reproduction services are optional. Occasionally, physical renovations are provided. More importantly, commanders encourage their military personnel to volunteer time to the program as mentors, teacher aides, tour guides, expert speakers, and through other support activities. In FY’05, over 2,362 members of the military volunteered 19,907 hours to the DOD STARBASE academies.

I think you see where I"m going here. If you have a concern about military recruiters coming to campus, as part of the No Child Left Behind program, in order to round up children to serve in the military, approaching them IN SCHOOL while they are minors, then how much more concerned should you be about programs that, under the guise of providing additional education for children, actually are military acclimation groups.

Attendees are given assessment tests, one piece of which is to factor in their view that "military bases are fun" p 24

Program factors that reinforce student views that “military bases are fun”:
• I am enjoying coming to a military base.
• The military is a good place to work.
• I think about what I want to be when I grow up.
• You can have fun working in a group.
• Learning is easy for me.
Items students rank as most important after participation in DOD STARBASE:
• You can learn a lot by trying things.
• DOD STARBASE Instructors are kind and helpful.
• At DOD STARBASE, I learned a lot of things I can use.
• I think about what I want to be when I grow up.
• I like to make new things.
• Military people do lots of different things.
• I am enjoying coming to a military base.

Must it REALLY be so that education is increasingly becoming intertwined with militarism? No other options to teach math and science to *at-risk* students than to bring them to military bases?

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