May was a busy month for DoD STARBASE Wisconsin staff. The warmer spring weather allows STEM programs to hold regional community events and outdoor competitions for area youth as well as celebrate their accomplishments. 

Milwaukee Public Schools – STEM Fair in Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin

On May 9th, Starbase Wisconsin participated in  the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) 17th annual STEM Fair at the Baird Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Students interacted with each other, discovered  innovative projects, and learned about classroom teaching in science, technology, engineering, and math!

About 600 MPS students from 50 schools attended, showcasing some  300 STEM projects using mathematics and engineering to find answers to their scientific questions. Students ranged in age from kindergarten to high school seniors. Many of the featured projects had already succeeded at their individual schools’ STEM fairs.

Starbase staff members, Amanda Kallie and Michelle Klos-Gonzalez, were present to showcase samples of the 25-hour STEM academy for charter and Milwaukee public schools. Youth could build an electric invention with the Little Bits Circuitry kits, launch a straw rocket a great distance, and build chemical molecular models. Many MPS middle school students fondly approached the Starbase Wisconsin booth to identify a molecular model’s chemical name or invent an electrical device with a functional circuit. Starbase Alumni who successfully participated won a prize. Starbase staff also spoke with local school educators and leaders to recruit schools for the 2024-2025 school year. Five schools completed interest forms for the program.

Rockets for Schools in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

On May 10th, DoD Starbase Wisconsin represented STEM education at the 27th annual Rockets for School rocketry competition at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The rocketry launch drew 25 teams in Grades 6 through 12 from New Jersey to as far as Oregon. School district staff visiting from out of state learned about a DoD Starbase location near them. Local teams from eastern Wisconsin also competed. Youth competitors earned a stamp in their passport by building a molecular model or testing the flight of an indoor rocket. Youth also participated in a planetarium show inside of STARBASE Wisconsin’s mobile planetarium, Starlab. The planetarium show was narrated by members of the Sheboygan Astronomical Society.

Samuel Clemens School Students Receive Apparel and Footwear Donations

Local Erie Insurance staff partnered with DoD STARBASE Wisconsin to help Milwaukee area students. Kenny Jones, Deputy Director of Starbase Wisconsin, and Felecia Thomas-Mack, a Starbase Instructor, identified this local school in the City of Milwaukee to receive coats and shoes. In efforts with the school’s Parent Coordinator, 50 students at Samuel Clemens School, a Milwaukee Public School, received spring jackets and brand name shoes on May 13th.  Students from kindergarten to 5th grade received these gifts. Clemens students have previously attended STARBASE Wisconsin in past years.

Fred Johnson and Becky Le Cavlier of Erie Insurance and Michelle Klos-Gonzalez of DoD STARBASE Wisconsin Academy distributed the apparel and footwear valued at $3,000.  Mr. Johnson and Ms. Becky Le Cavlier purchased and packaged the gifts prior to their distribution to Clemens students.

Recruitment for Summer Week-long Programs

Milwaukee Recreation programs held a professional development and summer kick off retreat on May 18th for summer childcare camp and community learning center staff at North Division High School. STARBASE Wisconsin was present to recruit childcare camps and CLC sites for the Wisconsin Wildlife and Life Science program. Programs take place in July 2024 at DoD STARBASE Wisconsin’s campus on the 88th US Army Reserve military base in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Six sites from Milwaukee’s north and south sides expressed interest in attending the program.

     Youth will learn all about Wisconsin wildlife and life sciences in this week-long, hands-on summer program through STARBASE Wisconsin! Students in grades 4-5 will learn about the various plants and animals found in southeast Wisconsin and participate in activities such as outdoor nature walks for sample collection, a camouflage scavenger hunt to learn about animal adaptations, and create their own alien cell. Students will learn how to use various scientific tools such as microscopes and sample collection instruments. This interactive life science program will take students through a scientific odyssey from the smallest parts of the cell to the largest trees in our state. To learn more about attending the Wisconsin Wildlife and Life Science program, go to – STARBASE Summer Programs 2024.