By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs
Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)visited the Starbase-Atlantis youth program while at Naval Air Station Pensacola on May 5.
Starbase-Atlantis is a Navy community outreach program managed by the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC). The program serves local community youth by offering fifth-grade students an opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences designed to increase knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering and math. These activities also help students develop positive self-esteem, focus on setting and achieving personal goals and develop a drug-free lifestyle. Teamwork is emphasized throughout the curriculum, teaching students to work and communicate effectively with others.
"Starbase is an terrific program for our Navy and for the communities in which we serve," said Roughead. "The program highlights many of the activities we do everyday in the Navy in a way that gets students excited about math, science, and goal-setting."
The Starbase-Atlantis curriculum includes astronomy, model rocketry, properties of fluids, Newton's laws of motion and the physics of flight for both airplanes and submarines and more. Students "fly" airplanes on flight simulation programs and build and launch a model rocket as the final project for the course. Tours of Navy training facilities, the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Blue Angels flightline allow the students to see the science, technology, engineering and math they are learning about in the classroom being applied directly in the real world.
During his visit, the CNO and his wife, Ellen, observed and interacted with students from Ensley Elementary School on their first day in the program. While the Rougheads were in the classroom, the students worked in teams to conduct an experiment in which they attempted to develop a system to safely return an astronaut named "Eggbert" back to the earth. The first team to successfully transport Eggbert received certificates of accomplishment and were presented a coin by the CNO.
Volunteer Navy personnel frequently assist the Starbase-Atlantis staff with classroom and outdoor activities and act as tour guides, mentors and role models.