The STARBASE Service Learning Model

Participating STARBASE classes will be required to complete a Service Learning project in place of a Community Service Project. The Service Learning philosophy speaks to the heart of what STARBASE endeavors to instill in students; what they learn in school has value and should be used to make the world a better place.

The students will decide on a project idea¬†that ties in with lesson content they are exposed to during their STARBASE academy. For instance, while at STARBASE, students study Newton’s First Law of Inertia, lending itself to seatbelt safety. A service learning project from this content could be to research statistics in our community by checking with local police and fire departments and emergency rooms to find out about injuries sustained when not wearing a restraint during a car crash. They can do an informational poster campaign, organize a community education night at their school where they present information to families about automobile safety, or even do a fundraiser to purchase car seats for families in need. The possibilities are endless!

The key is to tie in with a STEM content taught at STARBASE and make it academically meaningful and relevant to curriculum, not just social and civic.

A service-learning philosophy enables a more natural way for children to see connections between curriculum and their lives, as their communities and life realities often become the basis for solving what they perceive as relevant problems. Too often, schools and parents measure learning solely by students’ test scores. What if learning was also measured by students’ ability to transfer knowledge and skills in a constructive manner that influences their world? Service learning, which supplements in-class lessons with community service work, provides opportunities for just this kind of education. Students apply their learning to what matters to them. This is motivating!

Maureen Connolly and Alison Buske

STARBASE Content Areas

  • STEM Careers
  • Newton’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Laws
  • Robotic Programming
  • Metric Measurement
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Fraction, Decimal, Ratio, Percent
  • Rocketry
  • Creating Molecular Models
  • Engineering Design Process
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Data Analysis and Graphing
  • Geometric Relationships
  • Coding/Programming
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Chromatography