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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Aug. 19, 2022

New STARBASE Oklahoma classroom opens at Fort Sill

By Pfc. Haden Tolbert, 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

STARBASE Oklahoma welcomed teachers from across the state as they celebrated the dedication of their newest classroom.

The new STARBASE classroom is located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and was officially opened on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

STARBASE Oklahoma, a program sponsored by the Department of Defense and administered by the Oklahoma Military Department, focuses on introducing fifth grade students to science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on experiments done in a classroom setting.

The mission overall exposes the nation’s youth to the technological environments and positive civilian and military role models, nurtures a winning network of collaborators and build mutual loyalty within the community through 25 hours of hands-on instruction and activities that meet or exceed the national standards.

“Introducing our smart, young Oklahomans to STEM through the STARBASE program is an amazing opportunity for our state,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “The hands-on learning our Oklahoma kids get in STARBASE classrooms teaches them the critical thinking skills needed not just in STEM fields but all careers.”

Mancino said STARBASE experiments like rocket building and launching can translate into a lifelong passion and work in one of Oklahoma’s top industries. The Oklahoma Commerce Department states there are more than 1,100 aerospace entities operate in the state including manufacturers, research and development, and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities.

There are four STARBASE Oklahoma classrooms located throughout the state, including at Tinker Air Force Base, Tulsa Air National Guard Base, Western Technology Center and now Fort Sill.

Students from the schools located around the Fort Sill and Lawton area will have the opportunity to attend and learn at STARBASE Oklahoma - Fort Sill throughout the school year.

“We’re looking forward to showing the students how interesting STEM can be,” said Steven Schraner, deputy director of STARBASE Oklahoma - Fort Sill.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by a tour of the building, including science demonstrations presented by teachers from other STARBASE classrooms throughout Oklahoma.
Video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck
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