Updated: January 28, 2021 06:20 PM
Created: January 28, 2021 01:51 PM
Students are back at STARBASE Minnesota Duluth, and the teachers are thrilled. "We're really proud to welcome them back into this brand new facility, and see them start their STEM learning all over again," said Charity Johnson, director of the program.
Construction on the expansion at the 148th Fighter Wing wrapped up last summer. There are four new classrooms, plus office and storage for their materials.
"It's 7000 square feet of dedicated classroom space. It's very futuristic, very environmental, and that's the whole point. They are the scientists and engineers and technicians, carrying out their missions," Johnson said.
The mission on Thursday was to make sure their rover and astronaut could get safely back to their colony. Their mission on Mars is full of problems that require STEM-based solutions.
Like many things, the program was shutdown in the fall due to COVID. They added a virtual learning platform, to help keep kids going with chemistry and other subjects.
But now, schools are bringing back their 5th graders. And that means, STARBASE is back in business. Even adults can be part of the fun. "Every week we have a graduation ceremony, and invite someone from the STEM fields to be the speaker. It helps connect the dots," Johnson added.
They are looking ahead to next fall, and accepting applications for the next round of eager learners.
"We are at a point now, because we have the four classrooms and expanded space, we can take so many more students around the Minnesota region," Johnson said. They wll be able to serve over 2700 students annually.
For the virtual lessons:
For more about the program:
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