News Icon

News: Shooting for the stars with STARBASE

Story by Spc. Steven BennettSmall RSS Icon

Peach State STARBASE Spc. Steven Bennett

Col. Mark A. London, the Family Readiness Services director for the Georgia Army National Guard, addresses the children of Peach State STARBASE summer camp at Dobbins Air Reserve Base June 12. London gave the students certificates and pins to commemorate their graduation from STARBASE. “You’ve made your parents very proud,” said London. “You’ve made me and this school very proud as well.” (Georgia Army National Guard photo by Spc. Steven Bennett)

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. – “Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Blast off!” shouted a class of students as they watched the last rocket launch high into the sky above them June 12 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The students attended Peach State STARBASE, a summer camp geared toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Peach State STARBASE works in collaboration with The Georgia National Guard State Youth Program to offer the camp to dependents of service members and Department of Defense employees June 9-12 and June 23-26. Thirty spots were available this year for both iterations of the camp for children age 10 through 12.

“The whole purpose of this program is to get these kids excited and engaged in learning,” said John McKay, director of Peach State STARBASE. “We’re trying to give them a foundation for success.”

The program exposes students to real-world applications of STEM principles through simulations, experiments and practical exercises.

During the 25-hour curriculum, the children are immersed in a technological environment and given examples of role models and career paths through the involvement of the Georgia National Guard.

“Collaborating with the National Guard is essential,” said McKay. “The National Guard Soldiers that volunteer to help us at STARBASE serve as viable role models for the kids. By showing students these citizen-Soldiers and their career paths, it’s showing these children that they can give back to their country in a positive way.”

The classes are taught by certified personnel and cover a variety of topics ranging from team-building exercises and drawing team patches, to using a computer-aided design program, flight simulators and Newtonian physics.

“I have the best job in the world,” said Renee “Kitty Hawk” Harrison a program instructor who has taught at STARBASE for five years. “Our goal is to get these kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math. I love seeing the excitement in these kids’ eyes.”

Students who attended STARBASE learned to say no to drugs, work together to solve complex problems and develop the courage to climb up a 30-foot rock wall. The children even learned the benefits of physical training from Georgia National Guard Soldiers.

During Peach State STARBASE, students were taken on tours around Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Clay National Guard Center. Students also explored a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

When parents arrived to pick their children up from their last day of STARBASE, they were treated to a graduation ceremony. The children presented their team banners and mottoes to parents.

“Best Pilot” awards were handed out to the students that successfully flew flight simulators from Dobbins Air Reserve Base to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Col. Mark A. London, director of Georgia National Guard’s Soldier and Family Services, presented graduates with certificates and a commemorative pin.

“You’ve made your parents proud," said London, as he addressed the students. “You’ve made me and this school proud as well.”

The Georgia National Guard State Youth Program and Peach State offer the summer camp annually in hopes that families of service members and DOD employees will be able to participate in summer activities. Those involved with the program encourage parents to take advantage of a positive community outreach program that teaches kids to be excited about STEM and teamwork.


Connected Media
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
A young girl pumps a bottle full of air while...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
A boy laughs as an experiment has unexpected results at...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
A girl watches as ping-pong balls collide during a wind...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
The children that attend Peach State STARBASE at Dobbins...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Two students work together to build a rocket at Peach...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Shaylee Davis, a volunteer for Peach State STARBASE,...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
During Peach State STARBASE summer camp June 10, 2014,...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
During the situps portion of the physical training...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Renee “Kitty Hawk” Harrison demonstrates a step in...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Capt. Stephen Boda, facility operations officer for...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Specialist Rich Reed, a helicopter repairer for Charlie...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Children crowd around Capt. Stephen Boda as he explains...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Children that attend Peach State STARBASE are treated...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
During a visit to explore a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter,...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Students of Peach State STARBASE summer camp have an...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Renee “Kitty Hawk” Harrison leads the class in a...
ImagesPeach state STARBASE
A boy climbs a rock wall set up by members of the...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
A girl reaches for the next grip during her climb up the...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Staff Sgt. Samuel Bailey and Spc. Kerwin Bronner of the...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
A boy plots his next strategic move while climbing a...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Renee “Kitty Hawk” Harrison instructs a student...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
A student of Peach State Starbase summer camp at Dobbins...
ImagesPeach State STARBASE
Col. Mark A. London, the Family Readiness Services...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, Shooting for the stars with STARBASE, by SPC Steven Bennett, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:06.12.2014

Date Posted:06.14.2014 12:57



  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr