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A hands-on, minds-on STEM education program

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Milwaukee, Wis. — On September 26th, STARBASE Wisconsin instructors, Jacquelyn Boyd, Tiffany Newton, and Michelle Klos-Gonzalez provided STEM education at the virtual Wisconsin National Guard Badger Youth Camp.  Badger Youth Camp is an opportunity to enjoy a sense of adventure and belonging through sharing of military connected youth from around the state.  All youth are children of active Wisconsin National Guard Airmen and Soldiers.  Eight youth along with three adults participated in the virtual event via a video conference. 

STARBASE Wisconsin staff instructed participants on different types of kinetic and potential energy. Youth saw energy transform from electrical to chemical energy as instructors warmed bread in a toaster.  With at home kits, youth made an electrical circuit which turned on a light bulb. A special guest speaker showed the importance of electrical and solar energy used in his daily life.  He joined the teleconference from a roof to show his home’s solar panels.  In his garage, youth saw his electrical lawn and yard maintenance tools along with his electric car.

Automated technology like robots was highlighted by instructors, too.  One instructor acted as a robot ordered to brush its’ teeth by a youth camper.  This activity simulates the specific instructions that robots follow in their programming language and logical thinking.  Youth also built a spider robot lead by JD Engelhardt, Lead Wisconsin Child and Youth Program Coordinator.  JD speaks highly of the Wisconsin STARBASE staff, “It was great to see the kids learn and explore STEM concepts vitally. Then do hands-on experiments to test those new concepts especially programming robot Busy Bee. Even though the program was virtual which it was successful and had campers take some of learning into their own hands.”

DoD STARBASE looks forward to partnering with the Wisconsin National Guard Badger Youth Camp in future years.