About Us
STARBASE Wisconsin’s (STARBASE WI) mission is to educate and inspire youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Since 2012, STARBASE WI has served over 6,839 urban youth. As an academic outreach program of the Department of Defense and Wisconsin Air National Guard, they provide educational access to exciting, technology rich environment, in-kind services, and volunteers. STARBASE WI partners with the Milwaukee Public School District and the local Boys and Girls Club to provide STEM programming during the school day and afterschool. There are 66 STARBASE locations in the U.S. in 40 states and Puerto Rico. 

STARBASE WI provides fifth grade students in Milwaukee public, choice, and charter schools a five-week, 25 hour odyssey into the exciting world of the sciences through hands-on activities, experiments, and technology projects.  Students are immersed in the world of aviation through 30 hours of instruction by volunteer pilots serving as mentors and STARBASE educators. The afterschool program includes an abbreviated Private Pilot Ground School and Flight Performance Training with desktop Flight Simulators and interaction with military and civilian professionals with careers in STEM fields. 

STARBASE Wisconsin Student Demographics

In FY 19, STARBASE served 31 classes totaling 795 students from 20 Milwaukee area schools. STARBASE will serve 950 students next fiscal year.

MaleFemaleLow IncomeAfrican AmericanAsian AmericanCaucasianHispanicNative AmericanMulti-Racial

2019 Student and School Teacher Results 

  • 15.8% average growth in students’ knowledge of the sciences and engineering content after attending the school day program.
  • On a post program survey, STARBASE students’ responded:
    – 90% AGREED “I learned a lot of things that I can use.”
    – 86% AGREED “learning about STEM will help me in my daily life.”
    – 80% AGREED “I think I will remember enjoying my time at STARBASE.”
    – 80% AGREED “STARBASE instructors made learning about STEM topics fun.”
  • Post program surveys from teachers attending STARBASE Wisconsin revealed:
    – 100% of teachers will recommend STARBASE to other administrators and teachers.
    – 96% of teachers say that DoD STARBASE has helped him/her to improve the students’understanding of science.
    – 92% of teachers strongly agree or agree that the STARBASE experience has been a positive influence on him/her personally.
    – 90% Teachers observe that their students are more interested in learning about science.
    – 84% Teachers observe that students are more ready to set future educational and career goals.

STARBASE Alumni Results

  • 28% of 2012 Alumni class graduated from Milwaukee Public High Schools, an additional 9% are still enrolled in high school.   Note: A total of 67 youth attended STARBASE the first year. 
  • 9 % of the 2019 Wisconsin Aviation Career Education (ACE) program students are STARBASE Alumni.
  • Below is feedback from the alumni who were high school students in 2019.

“[STARBASE] made science fun to learn. I didn’t really have an interest in science before attending STARBASE.” — Shawanda Blackmon, STARBASE WI Academy’s first graduate and Riverside University High School Alumni and a Nursing student at Marian University in Wisconsin.

“[STARBASE] helped me generate more of an interest about how vast the world of science is and helped me pick my career.” — Anthony Ortiz, a senior at Ronald Reagan International High School, will serve as a Water Treatment Specialist in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

“As a Latina, female, and woman in this [STEM] industry, it [STARBASE] really opened my eyes to careers and really allowed me the opportunity to figure out what it is that I like.” — Xitlalic Castaneda-Cerda, a senior at Ronald Reagan International High School

Shawanda receives her high school diploma.
  • 60 volunteers provided 1,428 hours which are valued at $35,871
  • Program is valued at $390 per student
  • 54 educators 1,350 hours in the program

Outreach Highlights from 2019

  • Presented aviation education at 3 Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Clinics, WI Girls in Aviation Day, and the University of Milwaukee’s College for Kids.
  • Promoted STEM education at Discovery World’s Moon Landing Celebration, EAA Annual Fly-In and Convention, and the Rockets for Schools Competition. Read more articles about our 2019 accomplishments.

Financial Support
* Funding from the Department of Defense enables the program to be offered at no cost to families.