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Welcome to the STARBASE program!

DoD STARBASE Idaho Mission Statement

To provide innovative learning experiences not typically found in a 5th grade school setting that foster academic success in STEM, encourage growth mind-set, increase awareness of STEM career fields, and create opportunities to enhance student capacity in goal setting, teamwork, and perseverance.

DoD STARBASE 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 video (coming soon)


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.

DoD STARBASE Idaho History

DoD STARBASE Idaho began serving Idaho’s students in the summer of 2018. Since then the program has grown to provide STEM enrichment for 7 districts, inspiring approximately 2,000 students a year. DoD STARBASE Idaho’s three classrooms operate 5 days a week during the traditional school year, as well as providing out-of-school camps both on and off Gowen Field throughout the year. Visit our Photo Gallery to see our students hard at work exploring STEM!

In the 2020/2021 School Year STARBASE Idaho began its 2.0 afterschool program utilizing the First Lego Robotics Challenge at Middleton Middle School. In the 2021/2022 school year, the 2.0 program expanded to serve 6th graders at Grace Jordan and Whitney Elementary Schools in Boise. For more information, or to check out our 2.0 volunteer opportunities, please visit the “STARBASE 2.0” section of the “Programs” link.

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