A hands-on, minds-on STEM education program

smP1_Students_plan3destination_flightStudents planned a three destination flight from Milwaukee’s Timmerman airport to Watertown then to Burlington and return to Milwaukee’s Timmerman airport.

Milwaukee, Wis. In August, STARBASE Wisconsin Staff taught aviation education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UW-M) College for Kids program. Kids in college are encouraged to participate in exciting summertime, hands-on learning experiences in math, science, fine arts, and humanities. Twelve middle school age students participated in the Science of Aviation course. This course introduced students to the aerodynamics of flight, aviation terminology, flight planning and flight simulation and identifying weather conditions from cloud patterns.

smP2_Students_plan3destination_flight2Students planned a three destination flight from Milwaukee’s Timmerman airport to Watertown then to Burlington and return to Milwaukee’s Timmerman airport.

Guest speakers from several State of Wisconsin agencies discussed different careers in the aviation industry. Pilot Lauren Sherrick discussed her role in coordinating an emergency medical flight team, flying human organ transplant teams, and business operations at smaller airports. Vlaid Jovic from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport Air/Ground Operations discussed careers available in Milwaukee and other large airport locations. Meredith Alt from the Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Bureau discussed different scholarships to fund and earn a Private Pilot Certificate. Colonel (R) John Puttre, Director – STARBASE Wisconsin discussed aeronautical careers in the military.

“The Science of Aviation course was awesome! The students enjoyed many things that we did learned like how the tube, called a plane, stays in the air. I believe it was life changing for many of the students. I told all of them that the sky is the limited.” - Jackie Boyd, Aviation Instructor, UW-Milwaukee: College for Kids

smP3_Col_Puttre_instructs_flight_simulatorsColonel (R) John Puttre instructed student pilots how to use the flight simulator and fly the planned routes they plotted.

The Department of Military Affair’s STARBASE Wisconsin Educators gave an introduction to aeronautical maps and taught students how to plan a flight using the aeronautical maps, flight planning log, chart plotter and an E6B slide rule computer. Students then flew the planned route from Milwaukee County’s Timmerman airport to the Watertown airport on flight simulators. From Watertown they flew a low approach to the Burlington airport and returned to Milwaukee Timmerman airport. Students were excited and amazed to be able to fly their flight plan from one airport to another solely based on a compass heading and timing known as Dead Reckoning. They concluded the week by earning their aviator wings and pilot cap.

smP4_Holly_GPS_technology_flight_planningHolly Reitz demonstrated Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology used in flight planning along with electronic mapping tools currently used in aviation.

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