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Welcome to the STARBASE program!

Mission Statement

To expose our nation’s youth to the technological environments and positive civilian and military role models found on Active, Guard, and Reserve military bases and installations, nurture a winning network of collaborators, and build mutual loyalty within our communities, by providing 25 hours of exemplary hands-on instruction and activities that meet or exceed the National Standards.

Vision Statement

To be the premier Department of Defense youth outreach program for raising the interest in learning and improving the knowledge and skills of our nation’s at risk youth so that we may develop a highly educated and skilled American workforce who can meet the advance technological requirements of the Department of Defense.

DoD STARBASE Idaho opened its doors to the students in the greater Boise area on April 5, 2018.

DoD STARBASE Idaho is a DoD STEM program funded in part by the DoD and by charitable donations. The program provides 25 hours of inquiry-based “hands-on, mind-on” experiential activities on STEM education to fifth grade students during the academic school year at our location on Gowen Field. Students study Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s principle: explore nanotechnology, navigation and mapping.

They are intrigued by engineering as they use the computer to design 3 dimensional models of a scavenger hunt, space stations, and gyro sphere using OnShape software. Science, technology, engineering, and math are embedded through teamwork and activities in all that we do at STARBASE. Students explore the ever expanding world of STEM careers through self exploration and presentations from volunteers.

The DoD STARBASE Idaho program is free to all students, the only cost is that of the school district to provide transportation for the students. In addition to the school year programs, we will offer summer academies to students entering 5th grade in more rural areas of our state. Find out more about our summer programs under the Programs tab.


The DoD STARBASE Program first originated in Detroit, Michigan as Project STARS in 1991. The curriculum, designed by Barbara Koscak and Rick Simms, focused on exposing at-risk youth, (4-6 grade) to innovative hands-on activities in science, technology and mathematics based on the physics of flight.

Under the guidance of Brig. Gen. David Arendts, 127th wing commander at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, students were invited to Selfridge to participate and witness the application of scientific concepts in a “real world” setting. National Guard personnel demonstrated the use of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in their fields of expertise and served as role models to the attending students.

In FY 1993, the U.S. Congress appropriated funds for DoD STARBASE and piloted the program in seven states. There are locations spread across the United States and its territories. To accommodate the growing demand for additional STEM programs, a structured after school mentoring program, STARBASE 2.0, for middle school students was piloted in 2010 at five locations. The program’s success relies on collaboration between the sponsoring military unit and STARBASE Academy, the school district, and local communities. The goal is for each STARBASE Academy to sponsor a 2.0 program.

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