STARBASE

STARBASE Hill students listen to a lesson on Newton’s first law, Feb. 18, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base. STARBASE Hill is a Department of Defense youth program at Hill that provides interactive lessons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, for students of Northern Utah.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — For local fifth graders looking for a hands-on and real world crash course in STEM while school is out — Hill Air Force Base has you covered.

In a news release, Donovan Potter, spokesperson with Hill’s 75th Air Base Wing, said the installation’s STARBASE Hill Summer Camp is set to begin this June. STARBASE, which stands for Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration, offers fifth grade students living in the Northern Utah area the chance to spend four days immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and math activities, punctuated by an up close look at Air Force culture.

“We are always excited to build STEM enthusiasm and help students become more familiar with the base environment,” David Amparan, STARBASE Hill director, said in a news release. “We hope to get these students excited about the STEM possibilities afforded them during their educational career.”

Potter said STARBASE activities planned for this year’s summer camp are geared toward engineering with the assistance of computer-aided design.

Amparan said is the camp is designed to demystify and liven up science courses that some students might find intimidating or mundane by offering fun, hands-on curriculum.

Potter said campers will see how real base engineers work and use interactive computer programs. Students will also gain a better understanding of chemistry, physics and math through a variety of creative activities designed to engage them.

For example, Amparan says there’s a project that involves building an egg restraint system involving popular comic book characters Batman, Robin and Mr. Freeze.

Potter said there is no cost to attend the camp, but students must have transportation to and from the base and bring a lunch from home. For students not affiliated with Hill, Potter said STARBASE staff will help them access the base.

Registration for three separate June sessions is now open, with about 60 available slots per session. For more information, call 801-586-7493, email starbasehillom@gmail.com or visit www.starbasehill.org.

Interactive community educational opportunities have been a focus at Hill in recent years.

The Hill Aerospace Museum, located on the base’s northwest corner, has expanded its educational initiative through things like the construction of a five-classroom learning center that offers STEM courses to the public.

In 2019, the museum finished work on a Vietnam era C-130 Hercules that was converted into an interactive classroom.

Crews took an old C-130 that had been stored at the museum for decades, stripped it down, renovated it, and then connected it to the museum’s second gallery, where it’s become a permanent part of the Lt. Gen. Marc C. Reynolds Aerospace Center for Education. The center’s STEM Summer Passport program provides a 12-week course for local students in subjects like electricity, chemistry, astronomy, weather, magnetics, flight and more.

The museum also allows local high school students to help restore parts of the facility’s vintage aircraft collection at a recently opened aircraft restoration and maintenance facility.

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