On March 10th, the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) Three Harbors Council arrived at Milwaukee County’s Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport for Scouts to earn their Aviation Merit Badge. This workshop is a part of the Merit Badge STEM Tech Clinic. STARBASE Wisconsin organized and taught the workshop as part of their community outreach. Scouts had opportunities to:

  • Meet Private Pilots, visit the Civil Air Patrol, and tour their airplanes
  • Map an air route from Milwaukee to Waukegan and fly the route on flight simulators.
  • Speak with Air Traffic Controllers and take part in an actual cross-country pilot briefing for a group of pilots preparing to take a flight along Lake Michigan past Chicago before turning West to Bolingbrook’s Clow Airport.

DoD STARBASE Wisconsin Academy and the BSA Three Harbors Council are capitalizing on their four year partnership. STARBASE Staff provide ongoing support for the BSA’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Merit Badge Clinics to encourage STEM involvement in Aviation and Space exploration. STEM is part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America have taken to encourage the natural curiosity of youth members and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs. Youth regularly attend from Illinois and Wisconsin.

Dan Bowser, Chair BSA STEM Tech Clinics, appreciates the partnership. He says, “Our young people found everything STARBASE WI offered to be well structured and provided a good balance of learning challenges, creativity and, probably the most important in their eyes, a lot of fun! Without a doubt, STARBASE WI has definitely become one of the highlights of each event, a go-to resource and a key part of our success in STEM. They have continued to add program content and even provided a guide that highlights the advancement requirements that are present in each of the many programs they offer…..Their knowledge, programs, technology, and flexibility have made them an invaluable partner and resource at these events.”

From archery to welding, Scouts can’t help but enjoy the wide range of STEM-related activities. STARBASE Wisconsin Academy staff support the BSA in a variety of ways:

  • Chart STEM Merit Badge requirements met by STARBASE curriculum
  • Staff are Merit Badge Counselors
  • Teach workshops for designing models with Computer Aided Design software, introduce Robotics and teach the science of flight using flight simulators.

To learn more about the DoD STARBASE Academy in Wisconsin, visit starbase.wi.gov or contact John Puttre, Director-STARBASE Wisconsin, via email at jputtre@starbasewi.org or telephone at (414) 535-5786.