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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Featured Article, Winter 2015

Inspire the Next Generation

STARBASE, a U.S. Department of Defense program designed to inspire youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is looking for professionals to give a little of their time to share their enthusiasm for their careers.

The commitment is short-term: visit one two-hour session and talk about your job with a group of 12-16 sixth graders.

Officially launched at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (SANG) in 1991, STARBASE offers students a chance to see how STEM is applied as a career.  Today the program is offered at more than 50 locations across the country.

As part of the program, participants stand nose-to-nose with cutting-edge military aircraft, become “astronauts” aboard a space shuttle nose simulator, create 3D models using CAD software or program robots to navigate Mars.  Structured activities are provided by a base instructor, middle school counselor and high school mentor for approximately 12-16 students.  They challenge teams to create engineering solutions using EV3 Lego Robots, Modular Robotics Cubeletes and other hands-on activities.

Each day, a guest mentor (this could by YOU!) offers a 7-10 minute “Show and Tell” session about their job.  Each is asked to talk briefly about what they do and how they got into the field.  Most importantly, guest mentors bring something tactile or visual to illustrate how the work that they do becomes something with a purpose.

“A moment in time can have a long lasting impact,” says STARBASE Deputy Director Mark Muzzin.  “Meeting someone who is really enthusiastic about their job can really make a difference in the way a kid sees himself or herself in the future.”

After the brief presentation, guest mentors are asked to stay for the remainder of the afternoon to offer support as students solve their daily challenge.

Visiting mentors are needed from 3:10 to 4:50 p.m.

L’Anse Creuse Middle School East

(30300 Hickey Road near 24 Mile and Gratiot in Chesterfield Township)

Open slots include:

February 12, 19, 26

March 12, 19, 26, 31

April 23, 30, 7

To get involved in inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals, contact Mark Muzzin at 586-239-4884 or  To learn more about SANG’s STARBASE program, visit


STARBASE One Facebook Page

Department of Defense STARBASE