Holly Reitz (left), STARBASE Educator, and Colonel John Puttre (right), STARBASE Director, instructed youth and their families how to fly aircraft on flight simulators
Youth designed vehicles for air, ground, and water missions on Computer Aided Design software

Milwaukee, Wis. — On July 20th, Discovery World celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with hands-on activities, displays, and educational experiences for the public to enjoy. Focused on local Milwaukee & Wisconsin connections to NASA and space exploration, the event highlighted the illustrious past of lunar travel and sought to inspire our community to become the next generation of rocket scientists, researchers, and explorers. The display of space exploration was organized by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) to showcase STEM educational programs funded by the WSGC. STARBASE Wisconsin is a recipient of WSGC grants this year. The mission of NASA’s Space Grant Program contributes to the nation’s science enterprise by funding education scholarships, research, and informal education projects through a national network of university-based Space Grant consortia. Their mission is to develop a strong science, mathematics, and technology education base from elementary through university levels with a focus on aviation and space science exploration.

Michelle Klos-Gonzalez, STARBASE Educator, posed with the space suit of James Lovell, a former NASA astronaut from the Apollo era missions and a Wisconsin native.
Holly Reitz sits on a physical therapy machine designed by Jeff Leismer, PhD from VibeTech, a NASA spinoff company based in Wisconsin. This invention delivers vibration to the lower extremity muscles activated a natural stretch reflex. It was initially aimed to solve the problem of bone loss during space flight.

STARBASE Wisconsin was one of several educational agencies providing hands-on education from local youth development programs to public and private institutions of higher learning in South-eastern Wisconsin. At STARBASE’s showcase, youth designed vehicles on Computer Aided Design software for missions in the air and on the ground and water. They also learned aviation science concepts and learned to fly aircraft and land at Milwaukee area airports on flight simulators. One thousand three hundred fifty youth and family members attended the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Carthage College Undergraduates demonstrated technology developed for Microgravity Projects in partnership with NASA researchers and WSGC. Spaceport Sheboygan shared memorabilia from the second largest space program memorabilia collection including; NASA lithographs, Apollo documentation publications, and models. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther Rocketry Team displayed high-powered rockets. Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Lunabotics Team showed youth their students’ designs after fabricating, building, and testing a mining robot that will compete at the NASA Lunabotics Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

To learn more about the DoD STARBASE Academy in Wisconsin, visit starbasewi.org or contact John Puttre, Director-STARBASE Wisconsin, via email at jputtre@starbasewi.org.